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12:25 on Monday
2 February 2009

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Bank of England briefs Peterborough's business leaders

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The Bank of England briefed business leaders in Peterborough on the latest economic outlook at a seminar organised by urban regeneration company Opportunity Peterborough.

Andrew Hauser, head of the Inflation Report & Bulletin Division which is responsible for producing the Bank of England's quarterly inflation report, told the meeting:

"The latest Inflation Report shows that we have an unusual situation where tighter credit conditions are likely to slow demand but inflation is expected to rise quite sharply in the near term.

"As food, energy and import prices stabilise, CPI inflation should start to fall back towards the 2% target and demand growth should begin to recover, as the effects of lower interest rates and sterling work through.

"In setting Bank Rate, the challenge for the MPC is to balance two conflicting risks to the medium-term inflation outlook. On the downside, a sharper slowing in activity would threaten to pull inflation below the target. But on the upside, there is a risk that the short-term rise in inflation leads to a more persistent rise in medium-term inflation expectations."

Chris Bailey, the Bank's Agent for East Anglia and the South East of England, said: "There has been turbulence in the financial markets, and property markets and consumer spending has slowed. But other parts of the economy so far continue to be in relatively good health - and the further you go from the City of London, the healthier the economy seems to be."

Around 60 directors and senior managers from local businesses took part in the seminar. Most of them reported that their businesses were doing well and that the Peterborough economy is stable or growing.

Bill Agnew, business liaison executive with Opportunity Peterborough, said "Peterborough is not immune to national and international influences but the majority of local companies that we are engaged with are talking about growth and expansion, not about recession, and we are seeing continuing strong inward investment."

Opportunity Peterborough is Peterborough's urban regeneration company - a private sector led organisation backed by local, regional and national government bodies. Its aims are to secure the growth and economic and physical regeneration of the city.

March 2008 - Peterborough UK Community Website




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