Goldman economist to join Bank committee

With increasing nervousness about the next move in interest rates by the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee, the Treasury yesterday announced the appointment of Ben Broadbent, a senior Goldman Sachs economist, as the latest external member of the nine-man MPC. He will replace Andrew Sentance, a so-called hawk, after the May meeting.

Although comparatively littleis known of his views, a recentarticle by Mr Broadbent for theFinancial Times predicted a tightening from the MPC sooner rather than later. Thus, he may well side with the two other members who voted for a rise of 0.25 percentage points last time, although Mr Broadbent may not be as cautious oninflation as Mr Sentance, whomost recently voted for a hike of 0.5 percentage points.

The announcement came as demand for housing is declared to be at "historically low levels", by the the Royal Institution for Chartered Surveyors, which adds that worries about interest rates are weighing on confidence.

The latest institute survey shows the surveyors expecting prices to rise over those seeing them fall shift to a net balance of minus 26 per cent in February. While weak by most past standards, it is an improvement on the minus 31 per cent rating recorded in January, let alone the minus 39 per cent in December and an 18-month low of minus 49 per cent in October. Still, only London shows any sign of improving real estate values over the next few months.

The institute says that a continuing shortage of mortgage finance and increasing nervousness among prospective borrowers is driving prices lower.

The capital is the only part of the country to record rising prices, with a positive net balance of 14 per cent. Scotland came next, (minus 21) recording the least negative net balance.

By contrast, Wales (minus 58) and Yorkshire and Humberside (minus 51) are the worst performers, while in Northern Ireland the price net balance fell from minus 28 to minus 46. These reflect the preponderance of public-sector employment in those areas, and the prospect of heavy job losses as the public-spending cuts bite.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Digital Optimisation Executive - Marketing

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's fastest growing, multi...

Recruitment Genius: Financial Reporting Manager

£70000 - £90000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Financial Reporting Manager i...

Recruitment Genius: Payments Operations Assistant

£23000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They win lots of awards for the...

Recruitment Genius: Telephone Debt Negotiator

£13500 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This nationwide enforcement com...

Day In a Page

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific