Riding out World's Economic Storm; BANK OF ENGLAND: Sir Edward George Commends Welsh Approach in Troubled Times

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), October 17, 2001 | Go to article overview

Riding out World's Economic Storm; BANK OF ENGLAND: Sir Edward George Commends Welsh Approach in Troubled Times


Byline: ROBERT JONES

THE UK is better placed than most western countries to withstand the economic impact of the international situation, says the Governor of the Bank of England Sir Edward George.

He was speaking yesterday ahead of today's Monetary Policy Committee meeting in Cardiff.

Saying the crisis has come at the worst possible time, with the US economy already slowing down before September 11, he believes the UK's three lows of inflation, interest rates and unemployment put us in a better position than most to avoid recession.

He said, "The US economy was slowing down already. The same was happening with the euro-zone and although the shock has had different effects, it has served to aggravate downward pressures and lessen the appetite for risk in investors."

This in turn has affected both consumer and business confidence and the financial markets.

"The slowdown we are experiencing has now led to negative growth in the US which will last until late next year, " he said.

"What it has done is make those affected by it respond through fiscal policy action and look beyond the small term with a balanced view."

Highlighting the role of the Bank of England to produce the overall environment where businesses can do well, he says the UK can withstand the current world economic storms.

"Looking back over the past nine years we have seen the longest period of sustained growth. What's really thrilling is that we have brought forward quarter by quarter growth. It has been said all we care about is inflation- that's nonsense.

"We have seen the economy grow by 3pc and employment go up." He praised the work of the National Assembly to safeguard jobs in Wales. "Wales is doing the right thing through the work of the National Assembly, the Welsh Development Agency and Elwa, which are pushing the country in the right direction.

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