Bad news for businesses as Bank of England set to hike interest rates
The Bank of England is set to hike interest rates for the fifteenth time in a row on Thursday, despite recession fears, which will mean the Bank’s rate will be at its highest level since the beginning of 2008, taking interest rates to 5.5%.
Inflation has come down to 6.8% following its peak of over 11% last year, however, this remains far above the Bank’s 2% target and economists are expecting members of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPS) to back a 25-point hike.
High levels of wage growth and services inflation suggest inflation is increasingly domestically driven and inflation pressures are said to have been more persistent than the Bank expected, with some analysts saying the UK may already be in a recession.
However, some MPC members claim that rates will not have to go much higher as the Bank’s decision on Thursday will come a day after the August figures for inflation and a week after the European Central Bank lifted its key interest rate to record levels.
Khalid Talukder, Co-Founder of DKK Partners commented: “Interest rates rising for the fifteenth time in a row may cause concern for businesses in the UK, however, as the economy works towards stability, entrepreneurs and SME owners should remain confident. While the outlook may not appear overly positive, the economy has both shrunk and grown throughout the year and this should be taken as a sign that brighter times are ahead.”
“SMEs will play a key role in the future recovery of the UK, promoting innovation, allowing us to cement ourselves as a FinTech hub and helping to ensure our marketplace is attractive place to build international relations. Post Brexit, the UK has less friction with its largest trading block, the EU, and this should be capitalised upon while businesses must be supported through investment and government initiatives as attempt to remain robust and position themselves for when the economy bounces back.”
Martin Beck, Chief Economic Advisor to the EY Item Club, said: “A further cooling in the labour market, downward pressure on services inflation as less expensive energy feeds through and likely policy pauses by other major central banks mean a September rate increase will prove to be the last in the current cycle.”