Rate rise could "help to cool the economy"

11 June 2004
The Forum of Private Business has welcomed the quarter per cent increase to interest rates.

It says it understands the reasoning behind the latest increase but is relieved that the Bank of England has resisted an even higher rise.

Yesterday saw the Bank of England raise interest rates by a quarter of a per cent for the second month running. The rate now sits at 4.5 per cent.

FPB chief executive, Nick Goulding, said: "The continued rise in levels of consumer credit and house prices has necessitated the current increase, if only to ensure the economy doesn't overheat and to maintain stability."

Nevertheless, he added: "What we are concerned about, however, is that the recent upturn in the fortunes of the manufacturing sector in particular could be undermined by larger increases in the base rate at a later date."

Mr Goulding concluded with: "Hopefully the latest rise will help to cool the economy and prevent a further rise in rates that may negatively impact upon the current healthy economic outlook."

FPB tries to influence laws and policies that affect private businesses and support members' profitability. It listens to its members and as such is the only small business organization whose policies are determined by its members through research.