Beckett admits pound is hurting

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The Independent Online
THE GOVERNMENT last night acknowledged the impact the strength of sterling was having on industry, but did not hold out a hint of Government intervention, saying business should concentrate on "trades that depend less on price and more on quality".

Margaret Beckett, President of the Board of Trade, said she understood why firms found it difficult to deal with the pound's sharp rise against continental currencies in a short period of time.

"I know that the Bank of England is fully aware of the circumstances of manufacturers, and of the problems exporters are having to deal with," Mrs Beckett said.

"The judgement they are now charged to make each month cannot be easy, but we must all remember that they have to take a view across the whole economy, not just a part, even as important a part as manufacturing."