Bank raises growth forecast

The Bank of England upgraded its growth forecast for 2013 from 1.4% to 1.6% today and announced "the recovery has finally taken hold". The moves comes after government figures showed unemployment had fallen by 48,000.

Latest ITV News reports

Poll shows public split over impact of interest rates rise

The British public is split over whether a rise in interest rates would have an impact on their personal financial situation.

Of those questioned for the latest ITV News Index carried out by ComRes, 30% felt it would have a positive impact, compared to 31% who said it would be negative:

  • Very positive -7%
  • Fairly positive - 23%
  • No impact - 27%
  • Fairly negative - 20%
  • Very negative - 11%
  • Don't know - 12%

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Two-thirds of Brits 'expect interest rates to rise by 2015'

Two-thirds of the British public expect interest rates to rise by 2015, according to the latest ITV News Index carried out by ComRes.

Of the 2,053 adults surveyed:

  • 4% thought interest rates would rise by the end of the year
  • 37% said it will happen in 2014
  • 25% opted for 2015
  • 7% believe it will take place in 2016
  • 5% felt it will be in 2017 or later
  • 23% said they did not know

Earlier today, Governor Mark Carney said the Bank of England will consider making changes to interest rates when the UK's unemployment rate reaches the 7% threshold - it was 7.1% in September.

Mr Carney said there was a "two in five chance" that the unemployment rate will make that threshold by the end of next year.

Carney: Pay rises should not be expected until mid-2014

The governor of the Bank of England has admitted that people should not expect their wages to rise in real terms until mid-2014 at the earliest despite the growing economy.

Mark Carney told Channel 4 News: "I think some - not everybody across the country is feeling this, without question".

"There's still a million more people out of work than were in work prior to the crisis... but what is happening is 60,000 jobs per month, new jobs, are being created, most of those in the private sector, most of those full-time. And that's real work, real people".

Bank of England governor Mark Carney on Channel 4 News.
Bank of England governor Mark Carney on Channel 4 News. Credit: Channel 4 News

Mr Carney acknowledged that real wages "are not picking up, they haven't been for a number of years".

Asked if he would be prepared to raise interest rates before the General Election, Mr Carney replied, "Well, absolutely."

Read ITV News economics editor Richard Edgar's blog on why the uncertainty of the Bank's forward guidance makes life harder for borrowers

Sainsbury's boss: Customers still have less to spend

The CEO of Sainsbury's has warned that while the British economy may be seeing positive signs of recovery, individual consumers are still finding their purchasing power reduced.

"I think what we're seeing is lots of good signs of recovery for the economy," Justin King told ITV News, "whether it be lower inflation or job creation and so on."

"But as far as individuals are concerned, they're seeing low pay rises, they're still seeing inflation - it came down yesterday but it was still 2.2% - and so on average they've got less money to spend.

"So whilst it's good news to feel that you're living and working in a country where things are getting better, in the end it's what happens to you as an individual that's going to make a difference to your shopping habits."

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Unemployment drop: 'Forward guidance now muddled'

ITV News economics editor Richard Edgar was listening to Bank of England governor Mark Carney's press conference:

Head_and_shoulders_compressed_normal

Big, big changes at the Bank of England: forecast for unemployment reaching crucial 7% threshold 18 months earlier than last report (Q4 2014

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means Bank will consider raising interest rates much sooner than previous forward guidance. But inflation to stay low- fwd gdnce now muddied

In August, Mark Carney issued his "forward guidance" - a promise not to change interest rates until unemployment fell to 7% - in an attempt to provide certainty for markets.

'2 in 5 chance' of meeting jobless threshold by 2014 end

"The unemployment rate has fallen a little more than expected in August," Bank of England governor Mark Carney said, "and that is to be welcomed."

He said there was a "2 in 5 chance" of the unemployment rate reaching the 7% threshold by the end of next year.

At that point, the Bank of England Monetary Police Committee will consider changes to quantitative easing and interest rates.

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