Surveys released over the last couple of days in the UK and Europe offer signs of encouragement for growth despite all the uncertainty created by Greece. Banks are reporting that they are making credit more readily available to both the household and corporate sector. Furthermore, similar questions on the demand for credit have also picked up recently. Stronger growth in the euro area would be a welcome development and help to more quickly reduce high unemployment.

 

But with ample slack there is no pressure on the ECB to change course for several quarters. In the UK, the labour market has already improved and while inflation is currently low, wage growth is beginning to pick up. Perhaps this is one reason why Carney today suggested that the point of the first rate hike is moving closer.