Today's decision to hold the interest rate at 5.25% will give some respite for businesses, according to Shropshire Chamber of Commerce.

But chief executive Ruth Ross said the current level – which has remained the same now since August last year - was still a ‘source of concern’ for many of the county’s small and medium sized businesses.

“Surveys both locally and nationally show that around four in ten SMEs say they are directly negatively impacted by the current rate,” she said.

“This is mainly through higher borrowing costs, where smaller firms and those in sectors such as hospitality and retail are disproportionately impacted.” 

The Bank has outlined that inflation is likely to remain volatile for the foreseeable future. Alongside this, UK firms face significant uncertainties with geopolitical conflicts, new trade barriers with the EU, and ongoing skills shortages.

David Bharier, head of research at the British Chambers of Commerce, said: “The Red Sea crisis has already seen spikes in shipping container and insurance costs which could feed into a renewed wave of inflation.  

“With a General Election fast approaching, political parties will need to set out a clear plan for the economy.”

The BCC is setting out its priorities for the next Government across a series of reports, starting with ‘Green Innovation Challenge’ report, which was released earlier this week.