Concerns ease over rising interest rate

Concerns ease over rising interest rate

Anxiety among Scottish businesses over the prospect of rising interest rates is easing, according to new research.

The research by the Bank of Scotland found the net balance of Scottish firms expecting interest rates to increase before June has decreased from 41% six months ago, to 37%.

The net balance of Scottish companies that said that they were ‘very concerned’ about a rise in interest rates also dropped in the same period, from 23% to 11%.

And the proportion of Scottish firms expecting to take new or additional steps to protect their business against interest rate rises in the next six months fell slightly, from 31% to 22%.

Graham Blair, area director, SME Scotland, Bank of Scotland, said: “Our research shows that Scottish firms seem relatively relaxed by the prospect of higher interest rates.

“While the Fed has already made the move to increase its interest rates, the MPC will want to be confident that the UK economy is ready for a gradual rise in rates sometime this year. Our team of specialists are on hand to help businesses mitigate against the potential risks of increasing interest rates with bespoke solutions and expert advice.” 

The Business in Britain report, now in its 24th year, gathers the views of 1,500 UK companies, predominantly small to medium sized businesses, on a range of important performance and confidence measures.

Britain's interest rates have been at a record low of 0.5% since March, 2009.