Director general Kevin Hawkins said: “Hard pressed consumers needed to see a cut in interest rates today. There is clear evidence that disposable incomes are getting squeezed by higher living costs. The credit crunch and the possibility of higher mortgage repayments is making consumers increasingly wary. As a result confidence is slipping.
“There is no doubt that the inflationary threat is receding. For two successive months the Consumer Price Index (CPI) has been below the Bank’s 2% target and that is before the full impact of previous rate increases has had time to fully work through the system.
“There is only one way for rates to go when the Monetary Policy Commitee (MPC) meets again in a month’s time and that is down. Consumers and retailers desperately need the relief.”