CBI chief from KPMG slates government over interest rate hike

His comment came after the Bank of England raised interes rates to 5.75%.Jones said: ‘We recognise that there is a risk to the government’s inflation target if economic growth is not checked a little. It is better to nudge the tiller now rather than make major change at a later date.

‘But the rise will be unwelcome to exporters and small manufacturing firms that are struggling to keep their market share in the face of continued sterling strength.

‘Recent data has been positive, but downward price pressures on retailers indicates that we are some way off a consumer boom. Indeed, there is little sign of rising inflation in many parts of the industrial scene.

‘Growth should be given more of a chance. The Bank should now leave rates on hold until the post-Millennium trends become clear.’

A statement from the Bank of England said: ‘Inflation is currently below the 2«% target and is expected to remain so for a while, but it is likely to rise above target further ahead, reflecting developingpressures in the labour market and on productive capacity.

Accordingly the Committee concluded that an increase in interest rates of 0.25% to 5.75% was neededto meet the inflation target in the medium term.’

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