The Adam Smith Institute’s Head of Policy, Ben Southwood, was quoted in City AM discussing Mark Carney’s role in the UK’s economic recovery.
Carney’s appointment was announced on 26 November 2012 by chancellor George Osborne. The Canadian had previously ruled himself out of the running, so the news was a surprise. If investors were overwhelmingly positive, we’d expect to see stocks appreciate as a result.
So what happened? Ben Southwood, head of policy at the Adam Smith Institute, says that the FTSE 350 barely rose that day, nor when he came into office last year, or even when Carney introduced forward guidance in August.
And since Carney’s arrival was announced the pound has strengthened against the dollar, while inflation has declined. Taken together these three facts imply that Bank policy “has been a relatively small factor in the nascent recovery,” says Southwood, “just as inflation spikes were out of the Bank’s hands in 2011, real GDP improvements are also likely coming from supply-side improvements now”.
Southwood highlights Japan as a comparison. There Bank of Japan governor Haruhiko Kuroda and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe “really have made the difference” through monetary policy. Stocks are way up, the yen is way down, and inflation has risen.