Business leaders have called for interest rates to remain at 0.5 per cent when the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee meets this Thursday.

Louise Bennett, the chief executive of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said low interest rates remained crucial.

However, she is not expecting an extension to the Bank’s quantitative easing programme.

Ms Bennett said: “The picture is very mixed out there. We’ve had better than expected GDP growth in the last two quarters and there are indications that industry is growing.

“The jobs market has not suffered nearly as much as many predicted during the recession and we have inflation above the Bank’s target.

“Here’s the but. We speak to many companies that are still struggling and we’ve just seen a major announcement on cutting public spending which, whether you agree with the principle or not, will have an impact on the economy and jobs.

“The Government wants the private sector to fill the hole being left by some of those cuts. I think that is a very high expectation, particularly on the back of such a deep recession.

“If we are to have any chance of building a sustained economic recovery, the conditions must be absolutely right and low interest rates are one of the key ingredients for that.

“Many have called for further quantitative easing but, in light of the GDP figures and inflation, I don’t believe the Bank will go down that road.”