Belfast Telegraph

Exports will nurse us back to health

By David Elliot

Faced, as we are, with a mountain of European debt to deal with before we get the economy on track, you can kind of understand why Fitch joined Moody's in putting the UK's treasured AAA credit rating in its 'one to watch' file.

Certainly it overtook the story of the Treasury's consideration of a 100-year bond in an effort to raise cheap money and avoid the impending deadlines which have been the bane of Greece and Italy over the last few months.

Such a long-dated loan is a great idea for the Government and would seem to be the answer to its funding issue if only they can get someone to buy the bonds, ones which have a relatively poor yield.

Given all these tribulations it would seem those of us fretting about a potential hike in interest rates in the near future are a little over cautious but latest news from the gurus at the Bank of England suggest otherwise.

Monetary Policy Committee member Ben Broadbent warned last night that interest rates will start to climb as soon as the eurozone crisis is resolved.

While that event may seem a long way off we need to be ready for a quick recovery.

In fact, it might already be in the offing if you take your cues from what's happening on the stock markets.

The FTSE 100 is hovering around a nine-month high while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has soared to a four-year high.

Here in Northern Ireland we need to make sure we're well prepared to keep up with the global recovery because the last thing we want is to have to a rise in interest rates before we've had a chance to get back to full economic health.

And how do we do that? It's easy: export.

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