Commenting on the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) minutes, published today by the Bank of England, David Kern, Chief Economist at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) said:

“The minutes show that one member again voted for a small rise in rates, while other members support the view that the right policy is to persevere with an expansionary approach.

 

“MPC members acknowledge that the downside risks facing the economy have worsened. This strengthens our hopes that, if necessary, the Committee would be prepared to act to overcome threats of a further economic downturn.

 

“British businesses require a prolonged period of low interest rates to cope with the major pressures they face, and to enable them to drive a sustainable recovery. The austerity measures aimed at cutting the budget deficit can only succeed if they are supplemented by a programme aimed at enabling businesses to grow, invest and create jobs. If signs of a slowdown arise later in the year, the MPC should not hesitate to increase the quantitative easing programme above £200bn.”