Bank of England officials have been talking up the strength of the UK recovery as the latest round of business surveys show rising confidence and the FTSE 100 closes in on a record high.
Ahead of the publication of official data this week that is expected to confirm robust growth, Bank governor Mark Carney highlighted Britain’s lead over other major economies after he attended the G20 summit in Sydney.
With the FTSE 100 index of blue chip shares about 100 points off an all-time high set 14 years ago, Carney sought to give much of the credit for the UK’s recovery to his forward guidance policy. Under that scheme he had vowed not to consider an interest rate rise at least until unemployment fell to 7%. The jobless rate has come down faster than the Bank expected and in the face of criticism Carney overhauled the policy earlier this month.
The UK’s recovery has been more rapid than most economists would have expected this time last year, when the ratings agency Moody’s delivered a blow to the chancellor, George Osborne, by stripping the country of its top AAA credit score. But the latest release of GDP data on Wednesday – expected to confirm a 0.7% expansion in the fourth quarter – will be scrutinised for any slowdown in the consumer spending that has been fuelling growth.
via The Guardian
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