Belfast Telegraph

BoE chiefs united on destination, but not on the plan to get us there

It's a 'will they, won't they' question which is keeping us all in suspense. Would the UK follow the lead of the US, which rose to the occasion of sluggish economic recovery last week with a $600bn injection to kickstart its economy?

But instead of any decisive action, yesterday the Bank of England quarterly inflation report merely left the door slightly ajar for a further bout of quantitative easing.

The announcement - or should that be, non-announcement - was greeted eagerly by the pound, with sterling rising by almost one cent against the euro, hitting a one-month high.

Mervyn King's report revealed that the range of views among members of the committee was even wider than usual and there was "vigorous debate" among members on what to do for the health of the economy.

While the bank has said UK recovery will continue, yesterday's report warned that the pace of recovery was "highly uncertain" with exports not performing as well as expected and businesses and consumers likely to tighten their belts.

And Mr King warned that no European country could be an island in the light of the turmoil affecting the eurozone.

"The biggest conjunctural risk we face is from bad news from the world economy and in particular the euro area," Mr King warned.

But he also reassured us that a range of views in the committee was nothing to fear, adding: "Every member of the committee believes that the central path that they would choose is one of recovery. Not an exciting recovery, not particularly rapid ... but one of modest recovery."

United in what counts, in that case.

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