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The Rt Hon Sir Edward George, governor of the Bank of England

Sir Edward George

Since the start of economic recovery in 1992, the UK economy has enjoyed a remarkable nine years of steady and stable growth - averaging just under 3% per year - and low inflation - averaging just under 2.5% per year - with falling unemployment. Though storm clouds are now gathering, with UK manufacturing in recession, exporters suffering from sterling's overvaluation against the euro and uncertainty about the consequences of the US slowdown, it's worth recalling that that nine year record has withstood shocks, such as the emerging market financial crisis of 1998.

And although a benign world economy may have contributed a great deal to the UK's performance in the past nine years, it's worth asking whether it is entirely coincidental that this stable period has accompanied important changes at the Bank of England.

Following the debacle of black Wednesday in September 1992, when sterling was forced out of the ERM, the role of the Bank of England has been simplified and clarified.

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