The Bank of England's decision to keep interest rates on hold at 4.5 per cent has been welcomed by industry leaders, though many hope a further cut comes sooner rather than later.
Birmingham Chamber of Commerce and Industry said the move by the Monetary Policy Committte, which trimmed rates a quarter of a per cent in August, would give manufacturers much needed "breathing space".
Jerry Blackett, BCI policy director, said: "Firms are busier than they have been for at least ten years. The last thing they needed was a rise in interest rates that would impact on already tight margins."
David Stevens, president of Solihull Chamber, said: "With so many pressures on the MPC to take interest rates back up it is pleasing that they have opted for a standstill. However, there is still the impression the MPC is ignoring the plight of businesses when they make their decision."
Louise Bennett, chief executive of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said she was hopeful of a cut in rates before the end of the year, urging the BoE to offer some pre-Christmas cheer.
And she believes a softening of Governor Mervyn King's stance could prove to be good news for business.
She said: "Things are still extremely tight locally, regionally and nationally. A number of factors such as fuel prices - and the price of raw materials in general - are making it tough for companies in Coventry and Warwickshire. That is why we would hope that a cut in rates will be strongly considered before Christmas.
"I understand that Mr King is certainly not against another cut and I know businesses here would raise a glass to the MPC if it came down this side of the New Year."
Black Country business executives are also keeping their fingers crossed.
Peter Mathews, president of the Midlands World Trade Forum and managing director of Black Country Metals, said: "Interest rates simply have to come down. Our companies are working with rates more than double those in the euro zone.
"They are trying to compete on an uneven and unequal playing field, which cannot be right. They have to factor those higher interest rates into every job they tender for. Sixty-five per cent of our exports are into Europe so this represents a huge area of difficulty."
Black Country Chamber chief executive Ian Brough added: "We are seeing further worrying signs of difficulties in manufacturing, with factory output down in August and a survey this week showing that although manufacturers are working pretty much flat-out, they are cutting their margins to the bone.
"The Bank must give some acknowledgment that it is supporting the efforts of companies to tough out the bad times so they will be well placed to take advantage of any upturn."
EEF, the manufacturers' organisation, said the Bank was right to allow time to assess whether the current soft patch proved temporary or not.
It believes that whilst conditions remain difficult there is a cautiously improving picture for the rest of this year.
Chief executive of EEF West Midlands, Ian Smith, said: "While dark clouds remain on the horizon, the Bank should sit tight until a clearer direction of the economy emerges. However, the case for a further cut is building amid signs of a more persistent consumer slowdown taking hold."
Harvey Williams, RICS spokesman in the West Midlands, warned: "Mervyn King is committed to steering a steady course and it is unlikely that we will witness any surprises while he is at the helm. The only concern is that he may not take action quickly enough.
"The housing market is showing signs of health and there has been an upturn for manufacturing, but confidence hasn't fully returned to consumers who are still holding the purse strings tightly. It's very much a question of watch this space, but RICS is firmly of the view that the next move will be down - we just don't know when."
TUC regional secretary Roger McKenzie said: "We expect the MPC to consider another cut before Christmas. Latest figures show that in the year to June, the economy grew by just 1.5 per cent. Manufacturing employment in the Midlands region has fallen by 20,000. For both these reasons, interest rates must come down soon."
But James Thomas, regional director at Lloyds TSB Financial Markets in Birmingham, cautioned: "The real deciding factor will have been that the economy is still delicately poised between slowdown and recovery, making caution the order of the day."