REFILE-Superstar central bank chief Carney befuddles recovery Britain

Wed Aug 7, 2013 1:19pm EDT
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* Carney tries to steer Britain on low interest rates

* Some voters say policy is hard to digest

By Guy Faulconbridge and Max De Haldevang

LONDON, Aug 7 (Reuters) - If Mark Carney planned his first media outing as 'superstar' chief of the Bank of England to reassure the British public of the bank's efforts to juice up Britain's weak recovery, he could be back at the drawing board this evening.

In a steely performance, the former Goldman Sachs banker struggled to demystify for the press the intricacies of "forward guidance" - advance notice that he's not going to tighten monetary conditions too fast or too soon.

Carney struck a distinctly technical tone when trying to explain when the benchmark interest rate might rise above the current 0.5 percent, the lowest in the bank's 319-year history.

Reporters were given 109 pages of analysis and graphs to accompany Carney's new policy, which boils down to keeping interest rates low unless unemployment falls below 7 percent.

That could be dropped if three caveats - or knockouts - are triggered: inflation expectations top 2.5 percent, financial stability is threatened, or medium-term inflation expectations no longer remain sufficiently anchored.   Continued...