Global Winds Can Blow UK to a Long-Haul Recovery

Britain’s economy is expanding at a healthy rate. This month, for the first time, the average growth prediction for 2014 has hit 3% among the independent forecasters surveyed each month by the Treasury. With half the year gone, you may say that this is not a particularly bold forecast. The numbers and the surveys are […]

Enough Fence-Sitting: Time for BoE to Act

The Bank of England has got itself into a terrible tangle over interest rates, which is threatening to make it look rather foolish. The big question for monetary policy was how, after more than five years with Bank rate at a record low of 0.5%, the Bank would approach the tricky task of managing the […]

BoE Governor Gets a Bit Hawkish

It may be that Mark Carney simply likes drawing attention to himself, in which case last night’s Mansion House speech was a success. His was not the first hint that rates could rise sooner rather than later – the May monetary policy committee minutes said that the debate on rates was becoming more balanced – […]

Carney Goes Back to Keeping Everybody Guessing

July 2007. Roger Federer won Wimbledon for the fifth time and Venus Williams the ladies’ title. Gordon Brown had only just become prime minister and spent much of the month dealing with devastating summer floods. The European Union nominated Dominique Strauss-Kahn as managing director of the International Monetary Fund, a nomination that did not end […]

Bank of England in No Rush to Hike Rates

There were several interesting messages from the Bank of England’s May 14 inflation report, though the message that everybody was looking for – when will Bank rate rise – was pretty fuzzy. The markets are looking for a hike in the first quarter of next year but Mark Carney, the Bank governor, was reluctant to […]

UK Manufacturing Grows as Trade Deficit Narrows

Manufacturing output rose by 0.5% in March, for a strong 1.4% increase in the first quarter, stronger than the overall increase in industrial production, which dipped by 0.1% in March but was up by 0.7% in the first quarter. Some of that was a weather effect, the mild March weather reducing gas and electricity output. […]