Industry bodies respond to MPC rate decision

Posted on 16 Nov 2017 and read 491 times
Industry bodies respond to MPC rate decisionCommenting on the recent decision by the Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee to raises interest rates for the first time in a decade (to 0.5%), Lee Hopley — chief economist at EEF (www.eef.org.uk) (the manufacturers’ organisation) — said: “The decision will no doubt be hailed as historic for industry, that’s not because of the impact manufacturers might expect this single increase to have on demand conditions, but because of what it might mean for monetary policy in the next few years.

“With the UK inflation and growth outlook still subject to a high degree of uncertainty, this was not a clear-cut decision.

“The indication that the ‘hiking cycle’ will be gradual and limited provides partial reassurance, but it needs to be balanced with on-going clarity on how the evolution of data will determine the timing and pace of future changes.

“This decision was finely balanced, and the next one should come only with the emergence of clear evidence of new domestic inflationary pressures — or, indeed, a ramping-up of downside risks to the growth and inflation outlook.”

Meanwhile, CBI chief economist Rain Newton-Smith said: “While it is the first rate rise in over a decade, it is only taking the rate back to the level seen in August 2016, and at 0.5% it remains near ‘rock bottom’.

“Businesses will be watching the reaction of consumers closely, and what’s important is the pace of any future increases. As rates creep up, it will be important to keep an eye on the impact for those at the lower end of the income scale.”

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