Having reduced interest rates over the summer, the Bank of England last week confirmed it’s no longer planning to cut again. That’s a good call, not least because the original shift down was anyway a mistake.
After rates were reduced from 0.5pc to a record low of 0.25pc in August, following the UK’s referendum to leave the European Union, Bank Governor Mark Carney indicated they could fall even further. The Monetary Policy Committee now admits the UK economy is significantly stronger than it had expected in the wake of the Brexit referendum. Ergo, such “forward guidance” of even lower rates has expired.
I was at a festival last week that combined up-to-the-minute economic analysis with raucous no-holds-barred comedy. It sounds like a strange mix – but it worked. Maybe that’s because this unique hybrid event took place in Ireland where, even in the teeth of adversity, folk see the funny side of life.
Kilkenomics is staged annually in the elegant bijou city of Kilkenny, in the south east of the Emerald Isle. Dubbed “Davos with laughs”, it attracts a high-powered crowd of economists hailing from central banks, financial institutions and some of the world’s top universities – together with the odd renegade dismal scientist such as me.