Businesses across the UK have accepted that a further quarter point interest rate rise later this week is almost inevitable, according to a major industry body.The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has warned that a further rise later in the year – which is being predicted by many analysts – could be seriously detrimental to companies’ operating profits, particularly those of smaller firms.Consistent inflation pressures have seen the Bank of England’s monetary policy committee (MPC) raise the base rate of interest four times since last August, causing many firms to raise concerns that the MPC should wait to see the full impact of those rises before moving again.However, minutes from the committee’s last meeting show that a quarter point rise to 5.75 percent was only avoided by a single vote, making an increase this Thursday seem almost certain."We would be relieved if the MPC decided to wait, but this appears unlikely. More seriously, there are growing indications that interest rates could be raised further, to at least six percent, before the end of the year," said David Kern, economic adviser to the BCC."If this happens, the implications for business could be devastating. We appreciate the MPC’s legitimate concerns over inflation, but, on their part, they must appreciate the growing risk of going over the top, and causing unnecessary and lasting damage to the economy," he warned.© Adfero Ltd