Mark Carney says he's ''absolutely serene'' about the way the Bank of England warned of a possible Brexit hit to Britain's economy, as he responds to tough questions from UK lawmakers over the central bank's aggressive policy easing in August. David Pollard reports.
Sterling's been a big winner on a recent surge in UK data. The pound up 5 per cent against the dollar since a decade-low after Britain's EU referendum. But it slipped as Mark Carney faced some tough questioning from UK members of parliament. Traders confused perhaps over whether the economy is really shrugging off the downside of a Brexit. And whether the Bank of England's aggressive easing last month really was merited. Not so Mr Carney himself. (SOUNDBITE) (English) BANK OF ENGLAND GOVERNOR, MARK CARNEY, SAYING: "I am absolutely serene about the comments made both, by the judgments, made both by the MPC and the FPC." Not only that, said Carney, but growth - though weaker post referendum - is still stronger than expected. (SOUNDBITE) (English) BANK OF ENGLAND GOVERNOR, MARK CARNEY, SAYING: "Part of the bounce back of course, part of this, I'm not going to represent all of it by any stretch of the imagination, but part of it is there's a bounce back because the bank took timely comprehensive and concrete action and that action has had an impact." But for many in the markets, it's a case of 'wait and see' until more data comes in. SOUNDBITE (English) IG SENIOR ANALYST, CHRIS BEAUCHAMP, SAYING: "He was certainly right at the time to take such bold action. Perhaps he might have got too carried away moving with QE and rate cuts in August, before all the data was out. But best to be damned for doing something in the world of central banking than to be damned for doing nothing." And the data itself hints at the same split in thinking. PMIs showing a record August leap in services - manufacturing apparently at a ten-month high. But UK house prices, according to the latest reading, are slowing. The Bank itself, it says in a new report, still ready to take whatever action is needed.