Tag Archives: natural rate

If Pate’s Grammar School set UK Monetary Policy…

Samuel Cole, Jack Sherer-Clarke, Oliver Wallbridge, Annabel Manley.

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Each year, the Bank of England organises the Target 2.0 competition for A-level economics students. In this guest post, the winning team at March’s national final from Pate’s Grammar School explain what they would do if they were the MPC…

We decided as a team to hold the Bank Rate at 0.5% and to maintain asset purchases at £375bn. In our view it is not yet time to tighten monetary policy. Though we believe the output gap is small, the economy is yet to reach escape velocity and the Wicksellian natural rate of interest is likely to remain depressed. We are more optimistic on potential supply than other economists and think oil prices will stay low. As such, we predicted that inflation will only reach 1.7% in 2018Q1 compared to the MPC’s median forecast in February of around 2.1% (which has since fallen to 1.9%).

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An estimate of the UK’s natural rate of interest

Mike Goldby, Lien Laureys and Kate Reinold.

The natural rate of interest is usually defined as the one prevailing when economic activity is at potential and inflation is low and stable. As this has a very similar flavour to the monetary policy objective of many central banks, it is interesting to policymakers. The natural rate is unobservable and needs to be estimated. In this post, we show an estimate derived from a standard macroeconomic model which suggests that the (real) natural rate fell very sharply during the financial crisis, perhaps to as low as -6%, and that, despite a marked recovery since 2012, it remains around zero. Continue reading

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Filed under Macroeconomics, Monetary Policy