There are plenty of potential mistakes Rishi Sunak needs to avoid in the Budget

Editorial: There is no doubting the chancellor’s job is difficult – and we may all feel the squeeze

Friday 22 October 2021 21:30
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<p>The pressures on public spending and taxation may intensify in the medium term, even if the chancellor makes no radical moves</p>

The pressures on public spending and taxation may intensify in the medium term, even if the chancellor makes no radical moves

Beyond often gnomic “forward guidance”, the Bank of England is usually reluctant to give too much away about interest rate decisions, and understandably so.

Much can happen in the course of a few months in a dynamic economy even in normal times. Factoring in the effects of Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic adds to the uncertainties even more. These are, obviously, unprecedented times for policy makers, but the Bank’s governor, Andrew Bailey, and its chief economist, Huw Pill, have made little attempt to dissuade the markets from their assumption that interest rates will be raised by the end of the year.

Even if they moved, in relative terms, tenfold, from the current 0.1 per cent to 1 per cent, that would still represent a near all-time record low. Much the same effects would be seen in market interest rates for businesses and home buyers if the Bank partially reversed quantitative easing.

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