By Claire West

Birmingham and Solihull business leaders applaud today’s decision by the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee to keep interest rates at 0.5% and the money supply unchanged at £200 billion.

Will Rogers, policy adviser at the BCI said: “It is overseas trade that will lead us out of this recession and while interest rates remain low, it will encourage companies to sell their products abroad, creating jobs and boosting the economy.”

“There is no doubt that the economy remains fragile, and there is still a real risk of a double dip recession. However, interest rates will have to rise at some point in the near future to offset increasing inflation figures.

“A period of fiscal austerity is ahead and the Government must continue to promote the best possible business environment.”

Simon Topman, Chairman of West Midlands Chambers of Commerce, said: “It’s vital now for the Bank of England to continue to hold their nerve, particularly now that the Coalition Government has set out how it intends to deal with the debt crisis.”