BHF Group has accused the Monetary Policy Committee of bludgeoning all life out of the economy in the face of a serious retail downturn.
In a statement, the association says that, once again, the Bank has dithered when it should have acted to cut interest rates by at least half a per cent. When even blue chip retail businesses are plunging in value because of poor trading conditions there is something badly wrong with the economy, it says. Retail is taking a hammering while retail inflation is already non-existent. If the MPC was more concerned about inflation than recession, it says, it should recognise that high and rising fuel prices will provide their own disincentive to consumption, without the need to use the blunt instrument of high interest rates to bludgeon the remaining life out of the economy.
“What we need now are incentives to stave off some of the gloomier prospects in store for 2008, in the right place and at the right time,” commented managing director Alan Hawkins. “Retail is the right place and now is the right time.”