Daily Archives: September 9, 2010

The Reserve Bank of South Africa is to stimulate its “somewhat fragile recovery”, after falling inflation gave the central bank room for manoeuvre. Read more

Chris Giles

No surprise. It’s Robert Chote for the OBR. Subject to confirmation by the Treasury Select Committee, he will start as office for Budget Responsibility chair almost immediately.

Obviously on the agenda will be hiring the two other members of the Budget Responsibility Committee, setting up the OBR in new premises, negotiating its budget with the Treasury, recruiting staff and producing the autumn economic forecast towards the end of the year.

The new OBR chair has to restore confidence in the institution by demonstrating immediate independence from government. This must be a primary task of his confirmation hearing at the Treasury Select Committee next week.

The chancellor has certainly removed most doubts about the independence of the selection with the choice of Mr Chote, who has led the Institute for Fiscal Studies for the past eight years. The organisation has independence in its DNA and following criticism of Labour’s fiscal tricks, it recently demolished the Conservative’s silly claim to have delivered a progressive Budget.

But authority is more difficult. Read more

The Bank of England held the official bank rate at 0.5 per cent today, and maintained the stock of asset purchases at £200bn.

Barring a sudden change of heart in the next two days, the rate will have been on hold for longer than any period since the war. The base rate was held at 3.5 per cent from March 1952 to September 1953, a 555 day period. Read more

South Korea has maintained its base rate at 2.25 per cent, citing “the possibility of heightened volatility of economic activity in major countries”.

The central bank seems happy with continued domestic recovery, reporting buoyant exports and improving labour market conditions. Read more