West Midland business and finance leaders last night played down prospects of a rise in interest rates.
They were reacting to speculation that the next move in the Bank of England's base rate, currently 4.5 per cent, could be upwards.
It followed publication of the Bank's latest quarterly inflation report, which resulted in national economics commentators speculating that homeowners - already reeling from the impact of higher council tax and energy bills - could face a rise in their mortgage bills by the end of the year.
They seized on a part of the report that said the Bank could miss its key two per cent inflation target in two years' time if borrowing costs remained at current levels.
Others, however, interpreted the report as indicating that hardly any further tightening of monetary policy was needed.
Bank governor Mervyn King said there were many risks around the forecast for inflation, including the impact of oil prices rising above $75 a barrel last month and whether there is any spare capacity in the economy.
Mr King said it was difficult to know precisely how the oil rise and that of other commodities such as metals would be passed through to consumer prices.
The rate-setting Monetary Policy Committee would be keeping a close eye on inflation expectations, which had picked up recently, Mr King said. Although the change has been "small so far" it was important to monitor what was going on.
"If the rise were to persist then the committee would be concerned," he added.
Although the City believes a rate rise in August alongside the next report is possible, most economists are pencilling in November as the most likely date for a move.
Malcolm Barr, of investment bank JP Morgan, said the report was more dovish than expected and "the data will need to significantly surprise the MPC if they are to move as early as in August".
ING economist James Knightley said the likelihood of interest rates going up had increased, but a quarter point could be enough to satisfy the MPC and bring inflation back on track.
The Bank said import costs were rising at their strongest rate for five years, while it noted surveys suggested fresh recruitment drives by companies would take place in coming months. The UK economy would continue to recover from its low point of last year as consumer spending picks up, investment recovers and trade provides a boost, the Bank predicted.
In the West Midlands, Birmingham Chamber of Commerce and Industry policy adviser James Cooper said calls for a rise in rates had no basis.
The report confirmed the Chamber's view that the economy was likely to stay on track for the forseeable future.
"Interest rates should remain unchanged," Mr Cooper said. "Our members have been consistently concerned about the threat of energy prices to their businesses.
"Although the Chamber continues to urge the MPC to be vigilant of the risk posed by inflationary pressures we would also urge the Bank to be wary of any future economic weakness that may suggest the need for a cut.
"However, the Chamber feels that in the short term at least, a low inflation, stable growth economy can be achieved with the present rate of interest."
James Taylor, mortgage product manager at West Bromwich Building Society, said he expected rates to remain on hold for the rest of the year with the next move hinging on global economic trends.
"If global growth remains close to its current level then UK rates will probably rise next year," he added.