Chamber members had the pleasure of a round table discussion with Andrew Holder, Agency for Central Southern England from the Bank of England last Tuesday. Some of you may remember Andrew from the presentation he gave to the Chamber last year. Andrew’s role is to provide a link between the Bank and organisations across Central and Southern England. He regularly meets with groups such as ours, to “take the pulse” of whats happening in the regions and to share the Bank’s financial outlook.

Some of the Bank of England’s assumptions and outlook are:

  • A reasonable BREXIT deal will be concluded with the EU – not a prediction, just their current assumption
  • Growth is expected to remain modest
  • There is little slack left in the economy and potential growth is slower than pre-crisis
  • Inflation is coming back towards target of 2%
  • Amid much uncertainty, the Monetary Policy Committee is watching carefully to ensure a sustainable return to the inflation target
  • Further BofE interest rate rises are expected to be limited and gradual.

We had an interesting and wide ranging discussion with Andrew and across our group on subjects ranging from BREXIT (of course), HS2 to the availability of staff. We had a long discussion on BREXIT: its implications and the uncertainty its causing. Andrew’s observation was that everyone seems to be just getting on with life ” We have got used to uncertainty – after all we have been living with it for 10 years”.