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

“The minutes reveal a clear and welcome shift of opinion within the Committee towards maintaining interest rates at a low level for an extended period.  An increase in rates now seems unlikely until at least the middle of 2012. The minutes give a clear indication that the MPC will start to consider raising the quantitative easing programme above £200bn if the slowdown in the economy deepens.

“Although above-target inflation will remain a concern for the MPC, the minutes recognise that threats to growth are currently more immediate and more serious. The problems facing the eurozone, which is our biggest trading partner, mean that the MPC must make every effort to avoid an economic setback.”