In what will be his maiden speech as Bank of England governor, Mark Carney plans on using this opportunity to address investors doubts that he can keep interest rates on hold at record lows until at least late 2016. Carney introduced so-called forward guidance this month to prevent a pickup in borrowing costs from undermining the economic recovery.
Today’s speech will test his ability to push back rate expectations amid growing evidence the recovery is gaining traction. Carney believes that the unemployment rate, currently 7.8 percent, plays a crucial role as an indicator as to when consider raising rates. The BOE has forecast that the 7 percent threshold won’t be reached until at least the fourth quarter of 2016.
Since Carney joined the BOE on July 1 from the Bank of Canada, the U.K. recovery has shown signs of strengthening. The economy grew 0.7 percent in the second quarter and manufacturing and services gauges improved last month. That’s compounded a selloff in gilts sparked by the Federal Reserve’s debate about when to taper its $85 billion of monthly stimulus.
During overnight trading, Asian stocks fell for a second day whilst oil continued rise. Tension in Syria has worsened a rout that’s seen investors pull billions of dollars from emerging markets on speculation the Federal Reserve will begin tapering stimulus as the U.S. economy recovers. U.S. President Barack Obama is working with allies including the U.K. and France to reach agreement on limited action against Syria after concluding the regime used chemical weapons against civilians, fanning concern unrest may disrupt Middle East oil supplies.