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Interest rate under spotlight on Bank 'Super Thursday'

The Bank has combined the announcements in a bid to improve transparency. Credit: PA

A deluge of information will be released by the Bank of England at midday today that is likely to provide an insight into when interest rates will rise.

Dubbed "Super Thursday", the Bank will publish its interest rate decision, the minutes of the Monetary Policy Committee, which decides the rate, and its quarterly Inflation Report, the latest view on the state of the UK economy.

Mark Carney, the Governor of the Bank of England, will also hold a news conference to provide further details.

Previously the announcements have been spread out over a couple of weeks, but they are being combined in a bid to improve transparency.

Interest rates have been frozen at 0.5% since 2009 and, although the Bank is not expected to announce a rise today, a hike has been widely predicted for this winter.

Banking leaders welcome Carney's reform proposals

Senior bankers have greeted Mark Carney's tough new proposals to crack down on fraudulent practices.

Anthony Browne, chief executive of the British Bankers' Association, said: "It's vital that London once again sets the gold standard for fair dealing and integrity in financial markets.

"We welcome the intention to extend regulation from banks to other types of trading organisations. This should give customers greater clarity and protection."

Martin Wheatley, chief executive of the Financial Conduct Authority, added: "These markets are central to our economy and today's recommendations will be important in rebuilding public trust in their integrity."

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Mark Carney: Brits should enjoy low inflation while it lasts

Governor Mark Carney has said people should 'enjoy the low inflation while it lasts' as the Bank of England will bring inflation up to the 2% target by the end of the year.

We expect inflation to be very low over the next few months. But over the course of the year as we get towards the end inflation should start to pick up towards our 2% target.

The British people should enjoy this period of very low energy prices low, very low food prices, enjoy it while it lasts.

– Mark Carney

Mark Carney: EU referendum 'should happen soon'

An referendum on the UK's membership of the European Union should take place "as soon as necessary", the Bank of England governor has said.

Mark Carney said businesses are continuing to invest and hire despite political uncertainty connected to either the recent election or future referendum but added that: "It's in the interests of everybody that there is clarity about the process and the question and the decision."

The Conservatives have pledged to have a vote on the issue before the end of 2017. Asked if the referendum had resulted in uncertainty among business bosses, Mr Carney told BBC Radio 4's Today programme:

We talk to a lot of bosses and there has been an awareness of some of this political uncertainty - whether because of the election or because of the referendum.

What they've been telling us, and we see it in the statistics, is they have not yet acted on that uncertainty - or to put it another way, they are continuing to invest, they are continuing to hire.

– Mark Carney

Asked why productivity has not therefore increased, Mr Carney said: "It should start to move up.

"One of the big advantages this economy has is access to the European market. It's the largest economy in the world, it's our largest per destination, it's our largest investor in the United Kingdom."

Asked if he meant he would like to see the referendum sooner rather than later, Mr Carney said: "As soon as necessary. That's as much as you're going to get."

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Carney praises ECB but accuses Eurozone of failing to act

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney praised the European Central Bank for the "boldness" of its plan announced last week to buy hundreds of billions of euros of government bonds to fight the "potentially dangerous" combination of weak growth and falling prices.

Mark Carney speaking at Davos last week. Credit: Reuters

But he criticised the eurozone for failing to act on other reforms, including making the single currency area more like the United States, where states cushion one another against economic shocks via federal government transfers.

"It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that, if the eurozone were a country, fiscal policy would be substantially more supportive," he said in a speech in Dublin.

Mark Carney attacks eurozone over austerity

The Governor of the Bank of England launched a broadside against eurozone austerity policies, warning that it was caught in 'a debt trap'.

Mark Carney's comments come as Greece's new Prime Minister confirmed he will be fighting the tight austerity policies placed on the country by the EU.

The Governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney speaking last year. Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

Since the financial crisis all major advanced economies have been in a debt trap where low growth deepens the burden of debt, prompting the private sector to cut spending further. Persistent economic weakness damages the extent to which economies can recover. Skills and capital atrophy. Workers become discouraged and leave the labour force. Prospects decline and the noose tightens.

As difficult as it has been, some countries, including the US and the UK, are now escaping this trap. Others in the euro area are sinking deeper.

– Mark Carney
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