Belfast Telegraph

The governor Mark Carney must step up

The governor will probably be wiping his brow today. That's because the pressure has eased on him to raise interest rates a touch – not much, but a touch.

Yes, GDP in the last quarter of 2013 rose at the fastest rate since 2007 and yes, things are looking much rosier than they were, but relatively, output remains below where it should be and was actually a bit of disappointment to some commentators.

So, Mark Carney has a bit of time to think while he tries to construct a new mechanism to trigger an interest rate hike after unemployment proved a damp squib. Maybe he should stop using high-falutin economic indicators and instead look for something altogether more practical when it comes to deciding when to up rates.

If he were in Northern Ireland, he could use the number of BMWs on our roads or the number of business people still in a restaurant at 4pm after a long lunch on a Friday...

Perhaps a little churlish, but given the disjointed state of the economic recovery, he needs to come up with something fast.

A low unemployment environment coupled with low output means we're becoming less productive.

And it means the old indicators such as GDP are out the window when it comes to setting interest rates.

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