Greater Birmingham business leaders say the UK economy is “defying pre-referendum predictions” after the Bank of England unanimously voted to leave interest rates unchanged. Paul Faulkner, chief executive of Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce, hailed the decision as a sign that confidence in the economy is growing. The Bank of England today voted to leave the interest rates at an all-time low of 0.25 per cent, while its quantitative easing programme also remains unchanged at £435bn.

The decision follows a raft of strong indicators, including better than expected figures for retail, manufacturing, services and consumer confidence. Mr Faulkner said: “This unanimous decision reflects growing confidence in the UK economy. “While their swift action no doubt sent strong signals and helped steady the ship in the immediate aftermath of the referendum, the Bank of England has today recognised that our economy has so far been defying pre-referendum predictions.

“We will be holding a briefing session with the Bank of England on 7 October. I would encourage Chamber members to take part, both to hear from the Bank of England directly, and help influence their policy by sharing their experiences. Locally, we have just completed collection for our Quarterly Business Report for Quarter 3 and look forward to unveiling the results in the near future.

“This data is a powerful indicator of how local businesses are responding to the economic environment of the day.

“What remains clear is that Birmingham and the West Midlands remain buoyant and world-class places to live, work, invest and do business.”

The Chamber’s Quarterly Business Report will be launched at an event on 11 October.