The new(ish) Governor of the Bank of England is making a point of getting around his Kingdom. Mark Carney is continuing the routine enthusiastically followed by his predecessor of making regional visits.
Today he’s been in East Anglia emphasising that: “It’s not enough just to have a recovery in London and the South East,” a welcome comment given the imbalances that are emerging across the UK.
Property is the hot topic of the moment as the government brings forward the second stage of Help to Buy and he told my colleagues at ITV News Anglia that “we all know there is a problem with supply” in housing, as levels are languishing around 60,000 new properties a year – well below the 100,000 or so before the crisis. Think tanks reckon the need is much higher still to supply the demand of a growing population, around 230,000 a year. Dr Carney also warns that borrowers (and those who lend to them) should make sure they can afford the repayments “when interest rates rise – as they will, when the recovery takes hold.”
- Watch Mark Carney's full interview with ITV News Anglia:
Looking at the overall economy, Governor Carney sets out the “forward guidance” the Bank is hoping will encourage borrowing: “We’re not going to begin to think about raising interest rates – tightening monetary policy - until we see…the economy’s really growing at a sustained pace. We’ve summarised that with a 7% level of unemployment threshold…and that’s to provide businesses…with that greater degree of certainty.”
This is a message the Governor will be repeating around the country on his next visits for some time to come.