The Governor of the Bank of England dampened hopes of a cut in interest rates as soon as next week when he issued a renewed warning yesterday that Britain's central bank must take a hard line to ensure that present high levels of inflation are quelled, The Times reports.
Mervyn King raised new question marks over the Bank's readiness to cut rates quickly, and over any further moves this year, as he again underlined the anxieties of its Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) that inflationary pressures may prove persistent and hard to eradicate.
However, the Governor, speaking in Jerusalem, still left open the possibility of an April rate cut when he emphasised that although some slowdown in the economy was needed to curb inflation, “we cannot allow the economy to slow too sharply”. This and his comment last week that the credit crunch had left the Bank more predisposed to cut rates left the door at least partly open to a potential move next week.
THE WORLD ECONOMY is at the world economy is at the end of a "super-boom" in asset prices and debt which has lasted since the end of the Second World War, billionaire investor George Soros has warned, The Telegraph reports.
Speaking in a BBC documentary, Mr Soros said that at the heart of the financial crisis was the culmination of a 60-year-old boom in leverage, the result of which will be a far deeper downturn than many expect.
He also warned that the financial services industry now faces a painful crunch. "I think that the financial industry will have to shrink... and of course the indebtedness of the American consumer will have to shrink. The US currently consumes 6% more than it produces. That will have to come down. So it's an adjustment but it will be a very painful adjustment.
MINISTERS WHO MISUSE OFFICIAL STATISTICS will in future be "named and shamed" by a new official statistics "watchdog", The Independent reports.
Sir Michael Scholar, the chair of the UK Statistics Authority (UKSA), which is established today, told The Independent: "If a minister makes an announcement in relation to a department where the effect is to undermine official statistics, then we will publicly counter that. If we have to name and shame ministers, we will". He has pledged to restore faith in public data.
While the majority of official figures will still lie outside the direct control of the UKSA and, under it, the Office for National Statistics, the UKSA will have the right to "kitemark" the numbers that are collected and published by various Government departments. The withdrawal of a "kitemark" is designed to be a powerful signal about the untrustworthiness of such data.
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