A KEY player in Britain’s economy visited Crewe to speak to business leaders about the region’s financial recovery.

Ian McCafferty, a Monetary Policy Committee member for the Bank of England (BoE), is one of nine people who meet twice a month to review interest rates.

Although the economy remains subdued, Mr McCafferty said he’d seen reasons for optimism in Crewe.

He said: “The mood is resilient. While life is tough, most businesses are battening down the hatches and getting on with life.

“Those businesses that are able to tap into an export demand are tending to fare better.”

Mr McCafferty said after setbacks for the world’s biggest economies, the improving outlook in China and the USA was ‘promising’ for the UK.

He also pointed to Britain’s reduced inflation rate – down from five per cent cent to 2 3/4, which meant that a ‘huge squeeze on consumer spending had been mitigated.’ Mr McCafferty’s visit to Crewe was part of ongoing nationwide visits by BoE Monetary Policy Committee members to meet businesses throughout the country.

He added: “It’s vitally important to get out and talk to businesses. That way, we can get a measure of the mood.

“The economy is growing sluggishly. Comments are mixed from business to business. Some are struggling, and there are people that come along and say they’re doing well.”

“We can hope to see a slow but steady recovery.”