Bank of England’s Minouche Shafik declares herself 'an owl' in rates debate

Shafik has so far voted twice to hold interest rates at 0.5%

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The Independent Online

The Bank of England’s new deputy Governor Minouche Shafik has declared she’s neither a hawk nor a dove on interest rate hikes. Instead, she’s an “owl”.

Shafik, who joined the Bank’s rate-setting committee in the summer, has so far voted twice for the status quo, holding interest rates at 0.5 per cent.

Speaking to the Yorkshire Post, she defied the traditional divisions of the monetary policy committee between “hawks” pushing for rate rises and “doves” demanding looser policy.

Asked in which camp she stood, she said: “I asked my children and they said ‘Mummy, you should say you’re an owl’. Look at the data, try to be wise.”

There were few hints from Shafik, however, that she is planning to join hawks Ian McCafferty and Martin Weale in voting for interest rate rises in the immediate future.

She warned: “We don’t want to take risks with the recovery.” Rob Wood, chief economist at Berenberg, said: “There’s nothing here to suggest she is desperate to raise rates anytime soon.”

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