Thursday, 12 September 2013

Will low unemployment trigger higher interest rates?

So this is an interesting point arising from the evidence Mark Carney is giving to the Treasury Select Committee. If unemployment drops to his threshold of 7%, does that automatically mean interest rates will be pushed up by the Bank's Monetary Policy Committee?

Perhaps not.

Because he's told them: "The 7 per cent threshold is a staging post. When we get there we have to evaluate what has happened to productivity, what are the broader labour market indicators."

On the one hand the Bank is saying it will take 3 years to get down to 7%. On the other, City econimiosts are saying the threshold might be reached in just a year or two.

But the MPC does have to move as soon as the threshold is reached. Carney has reiterated that 7% is the point at which the " MPC will consider tightening".

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