BoE raises interest rates – reaction

“Although inflation levels have been off-target for some time now, markets were largely expecting the Bank of England to see how the Omicron variant played out before increasing rates. As the British public is asked to mask up against the backdrop of Omicron, it’s also key that businesses have financial protective measures in place too.

“The future was looking somewhat brighter for the UK economy pre-Omicron, and even though booster vaccinations are well underway, we are still facing a turbulent economic environment. This is especially true for those in the hospitality sector. The latest analysis from Dun & Bradstreet’s COVID Impact Index reveals that food and beverage businesses continue to be the most impacted sector in the UK, with a rating of only 28 on a scale of 100 (1 being most impacted and 100 being least impacted), compared to the national average of 51.

“Going forward, businesses must assess the risk of certain impending scenarios. For instance, the repayment of Bounce Back Loans is already affecting businesses across the supply chain. With the economic outlook deteriorating, access to finance will be critical. It’s more important than ever for businesses to have a comprehensive view of their suppliers, customers and prospects to identify risk.”

Tommaso Aquilante, UK Lead Economist at Dun & Bradstreet