Commenting on the decision by the MPC to raise interest rates to 5.25 per cent David Kern, Economic Adviser to the British Chambers of Commerce, said:

"We regret the MPC's decision to raise Base rate by a further 25 basis points to 5.25%. We appreciate the MPC must make difficult choices, and we accept that inflationary pressures have edged up, and the dangers have increased.

"But we believe that the clear risks that growth may slow sharply in both the US and the Eurozone should have been taken more fully into account by the MPC, before tightening policy. 

"The MPC could have afforded to wait until trends in the labour market became clearer. If firm evidence emerges that there is no acceleration in wage settlements, the MPC should consider an early reversal of today's increase in interest rates."