Shadow MPC in line with Bank of England on interest rates

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LEADING business figures from the region have agreed now is not the time to raise interest rates.

The Shadow Monetary Policy Committee voted unanimously to keep the Bank of England base rate at 0.5 per cent.

The Shadow MPC is a partnership between The Yorkshire Post and law firm Lupton Fawcett Denison Till which brings together representatives from across the region to discuss the region’s economic fortunes.

The Bank of England’s MPC voted to keep interest rates at 0.5 per cent yesterday.

Members of the Shadow MPC agreed there remained cautious optimism about the region’s economy.

Lucy Thornycroft, regional director of the CBI said: “Generally we’re seeing an increase in the number of companies recovering from the economic dip earlier in the year, in terms of both output and confidence, there has been steady manufacturing output and a rebound in consumer services.

“Business and professional services have started to edge a bit higher, and while retail is considered to be a tough market there is increased optimism about the future.”

Mark Overfield, from Grant Thornton, said: “Looking at the businesses I work with, things are cautiously optimistic, but companies selling into the oil and gas sector are suffering and there is little expectation of a recovery in that market until 2017.

“The referendum is very unhelpful to business in general, many companies are looking at hedging strategies at the moment.”

David Bagley, from the GDBA Pension Fund, said the collapse of the BHS chain had raised concerns about the health of the reail sector.

Andrew MacHutchon, from the Federation of Small Businesses, suggested a rise in interest rates before November 2017 was unlikely.