UPDATE 4-Carney sets high bar to change at Bank of England

Thu Feb 7, 2013 12:55pm EST
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* Carney says very high bar for changing UK inflation-targeting

* But ready to consider different options periodically

* May need to commit to maintaining highly accommodative policy

* "Far from convinced" by idea of targeting growth as well as inflation

By William Schomberg and David Milliken

LONDON, Feb 7 (Reuters) - Mark Carney, the next governor of the Bank of England, cooled expectations that he would push for sweeping changes in British monetary policy, but gave a taste of the approach he will bring from Canada when he takes over later this year.

In his first detailed comments on Britain's near-stagnant economy, Carney said on Thursday that committing to keeping monetary stimulus unchanged for a set period might be needed to help restore confidence among firms and households.

That is something that Carney introduced at the Bank of Canada, an unusual step at the time and one which was subsequently adopted in the United States, adding to his reputation as one of the world's best central bankers.

But Carney, who will be the first foreigner to run the Bank of England in its 318-year history, used a question-and-answer session with British lawmakers to play down speculation that he would rapidly press for bigger changes at the bank.   Continued...