Tomorrow's probable rates standstill is the calm before the storm, Birmingham Chamber of Commerce and Industry has warned.
Businesses will be hoping that the Monetary Policy Committee holds rates at 5.5 per cent and resists the temptation to increase them.
Charlotte Ritchie, head of policy at the Chamber, said inflation remained a significant concern for local businesses, and so it was right that the MPC continued to assess monetary policy with that in mind.
"However, we strongly advise the MPC not to overreact to the CPI inflation rate of 2.8 per cent," she cautioned.
"We call upon the MPC to adopt a 'wait and see' approach which will allow the current monetary policies of higher interest rates to impact upon the market and to be shown to be doing so.
"Birmingham businesses have performed reasonably well in the first quarter of 2007, with a marked increase in export sales and orders in both the manufacturing and service sectors. But, businesses are starting to experience some difficulties brought on by the four rate increases since last August and this may well have manifested itself in the 1.3 per cent fall in business investment during the first quarter."
Sue Yates, president of Solihull Chamber of Commerce, said: "I think we are all expecting a standstill on rates this time around.
"But it is likely to be the calm before the storm as the MPC fights to keep inflation below the Government's guidelines.
"It always takes a time for interest rate decisions to filter through and the committee should wait a little longer before hiking up the rates, to let their recent increases take full effect."
Peter Mathews, president of the Midlands World Trade Forum, said: "Manufacturing is hurting at the moment because of the strong pound.
"The last thing the sector needs is another rate rise - that would really do some damage.
"We expect CPI inflation to reduce because of falling energy prices and we hope that once inflationary pressures have eased, the Bank of England will consider lowering interest rates to improve the conditions for our exporters, especially those in the manufacturing sector."
Louise Bennett, chief executive of Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, also called for a "breathing space".
She said: "The word we are getting back from business in Coventry and Warwickshire is that the recent rises have put a real squeeze on things.
"There is a real sense that they need breathing space and a bit of time to absorb the fact that rates have gone up by one per cent in less than a year. While the rate rises are understandable in the face of rising inflation, we really don't want to stifle enterprise and discourage investment.
"When that happens, it can have a damaging effect on the economy."
Harvey Williams, RICS spokesman, said: "The Bank of England is firmly focussed on getting inflation under control - for West Midlands businesses and homeowners this may mean short-term pain for long-term gain. Mervyn King and his team want to be ahead of the game and not in a situation where they have to make a heavy-handed response if inflation expectations were to become unhinged.
"Looking at the current housing picture, the delay to home information packs has lengthened the time available for people to get their house up for sale without incurring any additional costs. New instructions of property on to the market will continue to rise reducing the current imbalance between supply and demand. As such, we would continue to expect house prices to cool into the summer and autumn months.
"In the region's manufacturing sector, economic stability is of prime importance to enable businesses to continue to weather the current cycle of rising interest rates. With production starting up again at Longbridge, the region's manufacturing community should continue to benefit from a strong global economy. Positive reports about confidence within the sector are encouraging, but the industry is still very fragile."
Most pundits expect borrowers will suffer more misery in July with a further rate rise to 5.75 per cent.
But none have ruled out the possibility of a rate rise this month after minutes of the last MPC meeting showed that the committee had considered raising rates by 0.5 per cent, rather than the quarter-point hike.