The Monetary Policy Committee wants more monetary tightening

The MPC has a pessimistic view of the future of the UK economy. They think we can only grow at 1.5% per annum in future. It is true that like other advanced countries our growth rate since the Banking crash and Great recession has been a bit slower than the previous trend, but this figure looks unreasonably low given the scope for technology to carry on transforming our lives and the way we do business. It also offers us nothing for the extra spending at home once we cancel the EU subs, nor for the possible recovery of sectors damaged by common EU policies. They also need to take into account the continued expansion of jobs and the workforce. We have confirmation that the economy grew at 1.8 % in both 2016 and 2017, with the referendum vote making no difference.

Because it is pessimistic about the future, it therefore says it will need to slow our growth to avoid inflation. It’s a circular argument. They say  we think growth should be slow. If it turns out to be a bit faster they say we will need to slow it, because it will not be sustainable without inflation. That’s a gloomy doctrine that does not allow for the possibility that our future trend growth rate may be higher than they think.

They stated in their latest report “Given the prospect of excess demand over the forecast period (i.e the economy doing better) the ongoing tightening monetary policy over the forecast period will be appropriate”. The Bank did relax monetary policy a couple of months after the referendum vote, which helped demand and also pushed the pound down a bit more. More recently the Bank has tightened money by putting up interest rates again, taking action to reduce car loans, mortgages and consumer credit, and withdrawing special facilities for commercial banks. As a result the pound has gone back up against the dollar to where it was before the referendum vote and has even strengthened a little against a strong Euro. The Bank thinks a weaker pound caused inflation, so presumably they think this stronger pound will do the opposite, which should reduce their concerns. They don’t say much about that.

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50 Comments

  1. Bryan Harris
    Posted March 30, 2018 at 6:12 am | Permalink

    With so much dishonesty a part of normal life, one wonders how anything good actually happens…
    With the socialist establisment totally against brexit – because it cuts across their long term goals – they really must be working overtime to produce such gloomy forecasts, constantly.

    Unfortunately, the socialist establishment has time, money and power on their side – it will be them, along with their spores that will do us in, alongside our inability ro recognize what is going on.

    • WA Laugh
      Posted March 31, 2018 at 9:06 am | Permalink

      So, is JC, I mean Corbyn not the other one, a socialist?

  2. Jason Wells
    Posted March 30, 2018 at 6:44 am | Permalink

    It’s all the same to me, I still get the same on my pension and pay out the same on living expenses- can’t see what difference the exchange rate with the euro or the dollar makes to us here, whether up or down.

    • Hope
      Posted March 30, 2018 at 8:18 am | Permalink

      JR, May said at the select committee this week her extension date might slip. This is the first drip that her extension does not have a fixed end date. Davis now saying EU citizens might have work permits rather than visas like everyone else around the world. Based on shifting sand this is bound to create uncertainty and pessimism from the MPC and very other body.

      A never ending punishment extension as vassal state without a voice, no change to mass immigration is beginning to sound as though May is doing her best to keep the U.K. In the EU at any cost.

      We had remainers Clarke and Grieve give remainer Gauke an easy ride and supportive questions to get him off the hook with his extremely poor decision over Warbouys release- Gauke should be sacked and given no choice to resign. Is there a price for their kindness to him to help keep him in his job?

      • jerry
        Posted March 31, 2018 at 6:30 am | Permalink

        @Hope; Stop talking Brexit down, we have been told that nothing is agreed until everything is agreed, thus the word “slip” in such a context might just as equally mean that any transition period might be shorter, perhaps none at all if other terms can”t be agreed. Why do you always come on this site to try to get others believing that Brexit will not happen?!

        • Hope
          Posted March 31, 2018 at 8:08 am | Permalink

          The facts and evidence show May has broken every main point in her Lancaster speech, her red lines, if they ever existed, line by line examination of EU demand for money now £100 billion, immigration transition, ECJ to apply afte Brexit, annexation or giving away Northern Ireland until DUP stopped her, offering security and defense unconditionally, not walking away or resort to WTO therefore telling EU she has no bargaining chips, allowing Hammond to use civil service to make fake report, allowing civil service to underhandedly talk to EU about KiKat policy to fund schemes without ten public knowing, allowing remainers to collude with EU rough Barneir, she has capitulated on every issue including territorial waters and fishing stocks! Last week she gave JRM another assurance in parliament that the extension would not be extended and then said something different at the select committee!

          Have you been following what has gone on? The question is why is JR and colleagues allowing this? Corbyn is at a weak position and tumbling, oust May and put a leaver in charge.

          • jerry
            Posted March 31, 2018 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

            @Hope; “Have you been following what has gone on?”

            Yes thanks, but I’m not sure you have, “following what has gone on” is following the facts (those in the public domain), not what UKIP or any other partisan eurosceptic or europhile group-think want us to believe.

            “Corbyn is at a weak position and tumbling,”

            Apart from the hyperbole in the right wing press Corbyn doesn’t appear to be that weak at all.

            “oust May and put a leaver in charge.”

            First you would need a majority, if the right wing eurosceptics had that majority they would have ousted Mrs May already, indeed had they a majority for the sort of Brexit you want @Hope May would never have become leader and PM in the first place.

      • WA Laugh
        Posted March 31, 2018 at 9:14 am | Permalink

        Hope, Well, I’m getting confused: when I worked in Canada, then in the USA, I had BOTH a visa AND a work permit, to be renewed by the relevant authorities every two years, and I know that my employers also had to fill up forms related to my employment as a foreign national. So what is your point? Is it that the UK is administratively incompetent?

        • Lifelogic.
          Posted March 31, 2018 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

          Well they certainly are administratively incompetent. Look at the appalling benefits and the tax system and their administration.

    • Dennis
      Posted April 2, 2018 at 11:26 am | Permalink

      Jason – oil is priced in US dollars so most if not all your living expenses will be affected.

  3. Mark B
    Posted March 30, 2018 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    . . . ongoing tightening monetary policy over the forecast period will be appropriate

    Prepare for another interest rate rise. Probably towards the end of April, but not May, as there are local elections.

    I hold little love for the Economic Alchemists of our time. They are simply gambling with other people’s money and livelihoods.

    It will be interesting to see this time next year how much, and where, all this money we will go ?

    Silly me ! Of course we know were it will go. It will go into the government coffers to be wasted !

    • Mark B
      Posted March 30, 2018 at 6:46 am | Permalink

      Opps ! Sorry.

      Good morning, and Happy Easter 🙂

    • Lifelogic.
      Posted March 30, 2018 at 7:16 am | Permalink

      Base rates are low, but bank margins and fees are generally absurd for small business. Cut out the rip off bank middle men seem to be the way to go but take good security if lending.

    • NigelE
      Posted March 30, 2018 at 7:53 am | Permalink

      Mark,

      Please do not be rude to alchemists – their early studies led to the development of a major branch of modern science.

      Now Economic Astrologers I can easily accept.

      • Mark B
        Posted March 31, 2018 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

        Sorry.

        🙁

    • L Jones
      Posted March 30, 2018 at 11:09 am | Permalink

      But this time next year our money will STILL be pouring into the EU’s ever-gaping maw.
      So many of us feel we are being sold a pup with this so-called ”transition” thing. If nothing is going to be changing until we’re actually out, why are we not actually going out in a year’s time? It feels like obfuscation, smoke and mirrors in order to give civil servants time to devise some sort of shackle-strengthening policy.

      • Lifelogic.
        Posted March 31, 2018 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

        That is exactly what transition is, a delaying mechanism to move to a Brexit in name only and with none of the advantages and all of the disadvantages. Let us hope May gets some fresh air to her brain while walking in Wales this weekend and finally comes to her senses (or just goes taking Hammond with her). To be replaced by someone who has some uplifting Brexit vision beyond “it is going to be different”.

  4. Lifelogic.
    Posted March 30, 2018 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    I see they have wheeled out Lord Patton and Tony Blair to talk more complete and utter drivel in trying to kill Brexit. Blair really does look very old (and he is not that much older than me). Still the more we see of him and his drivel the more it must help support for Brexit.

    He has so many things to repent for (such as his appalling & counterproductive war on a lie) that I am rather surprised he is not always with his priest now, given his new religion.

  5. Richard Jenkins
    Posted March 30, 2018 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    We need to send Carney back to Canada.

  6. Adam
    Posted March 30, 2018 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    The MPC, who make predictions which affect our destiny, should be paid according to results.

    If their guidance is accurate & valuable, they are worthy of corresponding reward. If not, they mislead & risk damage, & should receive nothing for such disservice.

    • WA Laugh
      Posted March 31, 2018 at 9:18 am | Permalink

      Well, if you start on this line of thinking, what about paying MPs according to results? Just a thought …

      • Adam
        Posted April 1, 2018 at 7:24 am | Permalink

        MPs whose constituents regard them as not delivering the results they seek have their pay cut when rejected at the ballot box. Those whom their party leaders regard as doing better may be promoted.

  7. David Cockburn
    Posted March 30, 2018 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    This sounds like a good argument for the bank to track nominal GDP rather than inflation. That way you are measuring the quantity of total output in the economy.

  8. ChrisS
    Posted March 30, 2018 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    Another example of the establishment’s doom and gloom attitude towards Brexit.

    Problem is, with everything else that they and Hammond are doing to the economy, low growth will become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    I heard on the radio the other day that we will need more private rental properties because local Government will never build enough and anyway, young people with aspirations won’t want the stigma of living in a council flat. Yet Hammond has ruthlessly attacked private landlords like me in every way he can and there are some measures designed to cost us money that haven’t even started to take effect yet !

    He seems determined to do everything he can to ensure our business ( and that’s what it is) to be unprofitable. One can expect this kind of tosh from Labour but this is no kind of Conservative government I recognise.

    Then we have the car industry. Politicians in France, Germany and the UK are in real danger of killing off one of the key drivers of growth of the economy.

    It is surprising just how man people I speak to have put off buying a new car. This is because Government won’t come clean over their plans for taxing petrol and diesel cars and where we will be allowed to drive them ! Then we have Hammond’s ludicrous rates of VED on cars with a RRP of more than £40,000 which, after all, only buys you a mid range car these days.

    The model I would like to buy would cost me £1,240 of road tax in year one then £450 for the next five years, a total of £3,490. I won’t be buying one so the Chancellor will also be deprived of the £12,000 of VAT that would have been included in the purchase price.

    Instead, I will probably go out and buy an older or classic car on which there will be no VAT and the VED will cost, at most, £305 a year. Low insurance too, so less Insurance Premium Tax.

    That’s a loss to Hammond of at least £15,185 this year from just one voter.
    Is this in any way a sensible way to run a Government, John ?

  9. Mockbeggar
    Posted March 30, 2018 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    Are they using the same forecasting model as the Treasury and the OBR, I wonder? It seems to me that this underlying model needs revising. GDP seems a very rocky measure of activity these days when manufacturing is such a small part of the economy. The Service economy must be pretty difficult to measure and since self-employment has grown I dare say that the Grey economy will also have grown. Is that included?
    And how do you measure productivity these days. That seems a pretty flaky measurement now.
    Once upon a time we used to watch the balance of trade; a much more reliable measure. GDP was never mentioned.

  10. stred
    Posted March 30, 2018 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    All these economic experts are paid by the taxpayer. The EUBC keeps on with its Brexit truth agenda and is running a pre-second referendum campaign. They had Hugh …. on the 5pm news the other day with Kamal ……and some other bod. Someone wrote in to ask whether food prices would change after Brexit. Kamal said that the IFS had done a lot of work on the subject and he told us that they had admitted that a change in tariffs would make food 1% cheaper but because of the drop in the £ caused by Brexit it would finish up 1.25% more expensive. He seemed not to know that the £ started falling 10 months before the referendum, that it has levelled out and is now going up, that we haven’t left yet or that no-one knows what the arrangement will be while we have BRINO or that every other forecast has been wrong. Hugh didn’t seem to have a clue either and accepted everything he said. So we have the IFS and the EUBC getting large amounts of money from the British taxpayer and EU taxpayer to talk absolute total bollocks. Let’s take their money away.

  11. Epikouros
    Posted March 30, 2018 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    Government instead of thinking in terms of controlling inflation only with monetary policy and therefore rely solely on the likes of the MPC/BoE who can only see things from inside their restricted thinking box they should look at other means. You mentioned technology and you were right to do so as that is a great driver of increasing productivity and that has a major effect on inflation. The higher that productivity rises the more inflation declines.

    In fact if government concentrated greater effort on increasing productivity then the use of monetary policies would to a large extent be superfluous. Monetary policy is a heavy handed sledgehammer to crack a nut solution that produces unpleasant results; exaggerated booms and busts, malinvestment and asset bubbles that considerably harm the purchasing power of consumers.

    Government has the power to greatly influence productivity which is does and currently nearly always in a negative way. Simply because it has a love for legislation, imposing well intended but in reality unnecessary or at least too restrictive rules, regulations and policies and generally interfering in the running of business, the economy and society which if it did not would function far better. It is the actions of government that actually cause problems or if they do put in place obstacles to solving them. If we could escape our intuitively thinking that society is made more prosperous, peaceful and equitable because we have a so many politicians, bureaucrats and public sector workers controlling and directing our lives then we would really see impressive high growth and low inflation rates and many other things better as well.

  12. Denis Cooper
    Posted March 30, 2018 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    The Bank is still supposed to be aiming for the inflation target set by Gordon Brown in December 2003, when he disrupted the conduct of monetary policy by switching from RPI-X to the EU’s HICP, more commonly dressed up as our own CPI:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/3188470.stm

    “The Bank of England now has to consider a new measure of inflation when setting UK interest rates.

    The new yardstick is the Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices (HICP), which is used by the European Central Bank to set interest rates in the eurozone.

    Already being dubbed “hiccup”, switching to HICP could mean changes to mortgage costs, and may even influence our chances of joining the European single currency.”

    And he moved from the original RPI-X target of 2.5% to a CPI target of 2% – said in the article to be the same as the target the ECB had set itself, though as I recall it actually aims to keep HICP below that level; for the ECB it is to be an upper limit, while for the Bank of England it is to be more in the nature of an average.

    Which 2% target the Bank actually met quite well for some years until the financial crisis hit, since when CPI has been all over the place, as high as 5% and as low as zero:

    https://researchbriefings.parliament.uk/ResearchBriefing/Summary/SN02792

    Including as a relatively minor disturbance maybe 1% extra possibly attributable to the reaction of the currency markets to the result of the EU referendum. Not 3% added on, as some deceitfully claim, as can be seen from that chart most of that increase was going to happen anyway on the upwards trend from zero before the referendum.

  13. Ian wragg
    Posted March 30, 2018 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    Expanding the workforce. That is of course a euphemism for continued open ended immigration.
    Add government borrowing and we have no per capita growth.
    Of course this is unsustainable and if immigration isn’t brought under control you will be reminded at the next election. It will be no good going into a fourth successive election promising tens of thousands
    It won’t wash.

  14. acorn
    Posted March 30, 2018 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    You didn’t mention the GDP “output gap” JR, or the NAIRU (non-accelerating inflation rate of unemployment). The MPC and the OBR think what’s left of our neo-liberal degraded economy, is working near flat out and can’t take anymore household debt fuelled demand.

    The UK has become a hand car wash economy. Why invest in expensive car washing machines, when five lads with rags stand around on minimum wage, waiting for customers with enough disposable income left, to afford to have their car washed.

    Thatcher did a great job of disconnecting worker productivity from worker wages for the benefit of the 1% Elite. Have a read of the OECD report, “Labour Losing to Capital: What Explains the Declining Labour Share?”.

  15. Ron Olden
    Posted March 30, 2018 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    One of the problems with this potential growth forecast, is that they reduced their estimates of productivity growth almost at the very point it started to speed up again.

    Being fair to them however, no-one appears to know why it slowed down when it did, or why it sped up again so suddenly, and whether it will carry on going faster. It might slide back again when the next numbers come out.

    But the UK’s growth rate, at a time when we already have near full employment, and an expectation of further falls in inward migration, is crucially dependent on productivity.

    The Bank of England’s and particularly Mark Carney’s pronouncements have, to say the least been erratic and irrational over the years, but again to be fair to the MPC, they do appear to do the right thing when it comes to actions.

    So if they’re wrong about this I have no doubt that monetary policy tightening will be eased and even put into reverse in good time if required.

    In my view, a quarter point rise in rates in May is the sensible thing to do. It’s not good for the Housing Market to get even more addicted to such freakishly low rates.

    But perhaps after May, no further rises will be required this year.

    And they always have a quick burst of quantitative easing available to them at drop of a hat. It’s not as if the government isn’t still borrowing enough money to soak it up. Alternatively if we do pay the EU this £37 Billion ‘divorce settlement’ that we appear to have agreed, why not get the Bank of England to print it all, and buy the necessary Euros with it in one go?

    It would be possible to to do it, if monetary policy is already a bit tight, and it would impact immediately on the value of the £ and assist with competitiveness at the point of Brexit.

  16. Rien Huizer
    Posted March 30, 2018 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    The MPC growth forecast is consistent with the assumption that population growth through immigration will decrease. The UK’s GDP growth over the 2006-20016 period (in constant GBP) was quite robust at close to 1.3% pa; 12% cumulatively) and higher than EU peers like Germany, France, the Nordics and Benelux. However GDP/capita over the same period was a much less satisfactory o.37 % per annum, less than 4% cumulatively. The explanation for this discrepancy is the UK’s relatively faster population growth and especially the UK’s immigration focussing on literate people in their productive years from the EU (and elsewhere. It appears that one of the government’s policy objectives is to reduce labour immigration, hence a number of 1.5% appears entirely plausible, probably on the high side even.

  17. Dennis
    Posted March 30, 2018 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    I wish I could get 1.5% on my savings! (not really). Actually 0% growth rate would be a lot netter for the Earth and a negative one even better. Greed is alive and thriving I see,

  18. Denis Cooper
    Posted March 30, 2018 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    Off-topic, here’s an interesting little chart:

    https://www.poundsterlinglive.com/images/graphs/UKFDIQ42017.png

    and if I was a dishonest Leaver – like some Remoaners who have shown themselves to be incorrigibly dishonest, with no scruples about the lies and distortions that they spread day after day – then I would make much of the rise in Foreign Direct Investment into the UK since we voted to leave the EU.

    I would not mention that this trend had started before the referendum, I would not offer any earlier context and point out that the upwards trend was from a low, and in fact a negative, base, I would just shout about FDI surging into positive territory since the EU referendum and hope that my audience would be suitably misled.

    I believe that if we knew nothing about the EU we could learn a lot just by looking at the despicable character of many of its most ardent supporters. Not the millions of voters who weighed up the arguments presented by both sides and on balance decided to vote to stay in the EU, they are innocent of wrong-doing, but those who deliberately set out to mislead the public during the referendum campaign, and for months and years and decades before then, and now for twenty one months after they deservedly lost the vote.

  19. ian
    Posted March 30, 2018 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    voodoo economics.

  20. Prigger
    Posted March 30, 2018 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    Off topic
    Just bought a garden slug killer. About £23, VAT=£3.75 of that £23.
    Okay. I know why I don’t like underground slugs in my garden. I am undergroundslugophobic and am awaiting Amber Rudd’s Thought Police knocking on my garden shed at 3 o’clock in the morning. But why is HM Government making money out the grotesque killing by eating from the insides-out poor little unwanted and uncared for sluggies in my garden by nematodes. Where is their compassion? Seriously why am I being burgled for £3.75 by the Government because I wish nice flowers and plants?Will it end when we leave the EU?

    • Anonymous
      Posted March 30, 2018 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

      It’s a kick in the crotch when you run a car to get to work and it breaks down and you have to pay VAT on parts and labour – because you bother going to work in the first place.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted March 31, 2018 at 9:23 am | Permalink

      Highly unlikely the government would stop taxing consumption once the UK is free of EU interference. VAT (or other forms of GST) are necessary and efficient. Corporate tax is hard to collect as we all know and the only wealthy individuals left in the UK are either tied to the country by emotional things, land or they have managed their taxes effectively to pay less. And of course there are the many non-domiciled residents (Russians, Indians, Greeks etc) who pay virtually nothing. Hence your miseable 3.75 will have to do the job, now and in the future. Nothing to do with the EU, except that without the EU the distibution over classes of consumption goods and services might be different.

      • libertarian
        Posted April 2, 2018 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

        Rien

        A man of your background really should know better. Companies pay Corporation Tax and it is incredibly easy to collect thats why the UK has the smallest tax gap in the world. Wealthy individuals pay income tax, capital gains tax, VAT, rates, stamp duty and a range of other taxes, they are far more difficult to collect. As far as the EU’s role in tax it was the EU’s so called single market that allows tax “efficient” transfer pricing within EU countries .

  21. APL
    Posted March 30, 2018 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    JR: “It is true that like other advanced countries our growth rate since the Banking crash and Great recession has been a bit slower than the previous trend”

    Yea well, its probably to do with the zombie banks that still have their teeth embedded in the jugular of the British economy. What’s the latest bill for RBS? £120 billion?

    • APL
      Posted March 31, 2018 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

      “What’s the latest bill for RBS? £120 billion?”

      The Tories in the ’80 closed down British Steel for losing that sort of money.

      What’s so special about RBS?

  22. APL
    Posted March 30, 2018 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    JR: “Great recession ”

    What’s the difference between a ‘Great recession’ and a depression?

    A serious question, you use the term frequently. It would help to know what you mean by it.

    It’s obviously worse than a recession, otherwise you’d just call it a recession.

    • WA Laugh
      Posted March 31, 2018 at 9:40 am | Permalink

      Look for « recession vs. Depression ». You’ll have a large number of sites explaining the difference, some with rather good examples and comments.
      As for those commenting on Economic Alchemists and Astrologers, maybe they could realize that since the 17th century, we have had a non negligible number of economic ideas, some based on « observations », some on theories (you know like the Laffer curve, a very good story when one takes the time to look at the history behind it), and some, more recently, based on modeling.
      Consider on top of that the various « Nobel prizes » (there’s no such prize strictly speaking) on economics, and one can choose one’s favorite medicine for the present state of the country.

      • APL
        Posted March 31, 2018 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

        WA Laugh: “Look for « recession vs. Depression ».”

        So, thank you very much Mr/Ms Laugh. I understand the technical definition of Depression.

        But this was John Redwoods article, his usage, and I was enquiring of him what he meant by the term.

        A cynic might think he’s using the term ‘great recession’ so as to avoid calling what we’ve all experienced for what it is, a depression.

        Because, he’s a political animal.

  23. acorn
    Posted March 30, 2018 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

    The ONS published nine reports yesterday; they are a bit of a shock for the few who know how our fiat currency economy actually works. UK households became net borrowers in 2017. A situation that should never happen in a fiat currency economy. See Fig 6 in the following: https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/nationalaccounts/uksectoraccounts/bulletins/quarterlysectoraccounts/octobertodecember2017#what-has-happened-to-the-net-lending-or-borrowing-positions-of-uk-sectors

    “If only the people of Britain understood the most basic economic relationship – aggregate demand drives output and national income. Cut spending and prosperity falls.” (Prof Bill Mitchell, University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia.) He continues.

    “Only when the government budget deficit supports aggregate demand at income levels which permit the private sector to save out of that income, will the latter achieve its desired outcome. At this point, income and employment growth are maximised and private debt levels will be stable.”

    “If only the people of Britain understood the most basic economic relationship – aggregate demand drives output and national income. Cut spending [public or private sector] and prosperity falls.”

    “Only when the government budget deficit supports aggregate demand at income levels which permit the private sector to save out of that income, will the latter achieve its desired outcome. At this point, income and employment growth are maximised and private debt levels will be stable.”

  24. Stephen
    Posted March 30, 2018 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

    The MPC meeting is on May 10th. There is not meeting in April. We desperately need higher interest rates to encourage people to save for the future and have money to invest and look after themselves.

    • Anonymous
      Posted March 30, 2018 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

      The money’s all in the bricks.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted March 31, 2018 at 9:15 am | Permalink

      Interest rates are unusually low not onl;y in the UK but everywhere in the OECD countries. Virtually all saving for the future occurs in pension systems and they will save more, not less when rates decline. So your argument maybe more intuitive than well informed. Academia is quite divided about that would constitute ideal monetary policy (and to what extent monetary policy could work when interest rates are very low. Hence there is also no strong consensus as to what policymakers should be doing in the current environment. Fortunately, small independent currencies like GBP and to a much greater extent AUD, CAD and SKR (all small independent currencies) peg their monetary policy off
      what occurs in the big economies in order to arrive at their (subjective) optimal mix of exchange rate- and domestic effects. Stimulus (positive or negative) in small open economies flows throng more channels than in much bigger, quasi autarchic systems like the US or the EUR zone.

      You may have to wait for a while until the priorities of people with a greater interest in high savings rates dominate those of mortgage borrowers..

  25. Che Gopher
    Posted March 30, 2018 at 11:28 pm | Permalink

    Mister Corbyn and Mister McDonnell and their Bash Street Gang, the revolutionary progressive revolting Momentum, play hell about “reduction in police numbers”
    If it were the opposite they would say it is the evidence of a growing Police State.It is hard being a Socialist Revolutionary when the Imperialist Capitalist oppressors of the Working Class keep getting made redundant.

  26. Derek Henry
    Posted March 31, 2018 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    That’s because as per usual the BOE has everything upside down and back to front.

    Take a look the real data does not lie pick a graph any graph you like after 6 US rate hikes.

    Rate hikes do not make a currency stronger or fight inflation because all else equal rate hikes are

    a) Price hikes right across the board as the increased costs gets passed on

    b) A fiscal stimulas due to the interest income channels

    Interest on Treasury Securities, $127.1 bln, up $11.5 bln, growing at 10% y-o-y.

    This is the fastest growing spending item and one of the largest. It shows you how rate hikes equate to fiscal expansions.

    Interest on Treasury securities was the largest single line item of government expenditure during Reagan’s first term, which became known as the Reagan “boom.” Spending on interest even surpassed spending on the military. Rates were 20% back then so you can see why.

    Rate hikes also increase bank deposits.

    Bank deposits rose by $25.4 bln to $11.993 trillion.

    Pick a graph any graph the $ has weakened since they started hiking and infation is on the rise.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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