Belfast Telegraph

Bank's new pitcher willing to throw curve balls at economy

Don't doubt my forecasts. Sounds like a cry from veteran weatherman Michael Fish, but yesterday that sentiment was the stout defence of the Bank of England governor.

In his first big speech since taking up office, Mark Carney, the high sheriff of Moneytown, headed to Nottingham to hammer home a few truths that he and his merry band of monetary policy committee members have been ruminating over in the last few weeks.

He poured cold water on the idea bandied about by the oh-so-wise money markets that he'd be forced to raise interest rates before 2016, the date when the bank reckons the 7% unemployment rate trigger point will be hit. Financial markets think he's being a bit pessimistic and a fall to that level will happen in 2015 or even 2014, but Mr Carney stood strong yesterday.

Far from tumbling from the current level of 7.8% in the months ahead, he thinks the dole queue is going nowhere fast even if it looks as if the economy is picking up pace.

And in a bid to drive the point home to everybody, especially the "yoof", he did something which no one was expecting: he used Jake Bugg to reference the state of the UK economy.

"The UK is no more productive than it was back in 2005 – before Jake Bugg got his first guitar," he quipped with the ease of a talk show host.

If we didn't already know we have a slightly different individual at the helm of the UK's money markets, we do now.

He's willing to try innovative ways to steer the economy and has already thrown a few curve balls.

Will it work?

We'll have to wait and see, but in the meantime, it will be interesting to watch how the stand-off between Mr Carney and the markets progresses.

Belfast Telegraph

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