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King shows liking for dosh and Becks

It seems Bank of England governor Mervyn King?s love of football is catching on at the UK?s central bank.

He used football imagery last summer when the UK government threatened to change the way it measured inflation in preparation for possible euro entry.

Switching from the retail price index to the consumer price index, which excludes house prices, would be ?as if David Beckham had taken a shot on goal only to see someone had moved the posts?, King said.

And in January, in a speech to a business lunch in Birmingham, he told his audience he had always wanted ?to perform at Villa Park?, the home of Premiership football club Aston Villa, and referred to a 1913 visit to a match there by John Maynard Keynes.

Now, it seems, King?s enthusiasm for the national game is rubbing off on his colleagues.

At the end of April, the Bank unveiled the new quarterly macroeconomic model it will use to help compile its inflation reports. It uses more explicit predictions about future labour income, demand, and exchange rates, and is more consistent in its treatment of economic and accounting variables.

In King?s honour, and with one eye on the impending Euro 2004 tournament, staff at the Bank?s Threadneedle Street headquarters have nicknamed the new Bank of England Quarterly Model (BEQM) ?The Beckham?. 

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