Thursday, 12 September 2013

Carney stick with low interest rates

The governor the Bank of England, Mark Carney, has stuck firmly to the Bank's new policy of keeping interest rates low until unemployment falls to 7 per cent. He was answering questions from MPs in the Treasury Select Committee.

In an approach known as forward guidance, the Bank's Monetary Policy Committee has made it clear the rates will be kept down at the historic low of half of one per cent until the unemployment threshold is reached, most likely for three years.

He acknowledged there were forecasts in the financial markets that interest rates might end up being raised later next year or in 2015, saying "On average the view of the market is that the threshold will be achieved sooner."

But he gave no signal that the bank was changing its stance, adding "What's important is that this about the conditions when the MPC will consider tightening. That is summarised by the the 7 per cent threshold."

Challenged on the plight of savers, still destined to put up with paltry interest rates for a long time to come, he said he had "tremendous sympathy for them".

He said "They've done the right thing, they've set money aside."

"With growth will come higher interest rates for those savers. Our job is to make sure this economy reaches escape velocity and can sustain higher interest rates."

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