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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Miguided Hawks of The MPC

The Telegraph reports that according to the latest MPC minutes, released today, the Bank of England chief economist Spencer Dale has joined Martin Weale and Andrew Sentance in calling for an interest rate rise.

The "hawks" deem inflation to be a significant threat to the economy.

They are wrong:

1 The impact of the austerity budget has yet to be felt, once that kicks in there will be a significant deflationary pressure on the economy.

2 The economy is teetering on the edge of another recession, any upward increase in interest rates will push the economy over the edge.

3 An inflation rate of 4%-5% is bearable for a year or so.

4 The "inflation" that the MPC hawks fear is largely down to the rise in VAT in January, and the ONS (as per usual) erroneously under reporting inflation (clothing) for several years.

In short, rate should be kept where they are for the time being.

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