Responding to the release today of the MPC minutes and the Labour Market statistics David Kern, economic adviser to the British Chambers of Commerce, said:


“Today’s MPC minutes show that the mood in the MPC remains hawkish.  Although the three members opposing the decision, including the Bank’s Deputy Governor and the Bank’s Chief Economist, provided powerful arguments for waiting to increase rates further, their view was rejected. 


“However, the labour market figures also published this morning show falls in average earnings growth, both including and excluding bonuses.  Although employment is up and unemployment is down, wage pressures have actually eased.


“As our recent QES has shown, while growth remains robust, there is no firm evidence of the economy overheating.  We continue to urge the MPC to adopt a cautious line.”