The State of the Economy and Economic Policy, Long Term and Short Term

The Economic Affairs Committee has decided to conduct an inquiry into 'The State of the Economy and Economic Policy, Long Term and Short Term'.

Evidence is invited by 19 April 2004.

The Committee will inquire into three broad areas: (i) monetary policy; (ii) fiscal policy; and (iii) productivity growth. The Committee would welcome written submissions on any or all of the following specific issues:

  1. The suitability of the new Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices (HICP) inflation target of 2% and its implications in the short and long run for monetary policy.

  2. The significance of asset price movements (including the exchange rate) for monetary policy.

  3. The importance for members of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of having expertise in monetary economics.

  4. The appropriateness of the present structure and content of the Bank of England quarterly Inflation Report and the Minutes of the MPC meetings.

  5. The co-ordination of monetary and fiscal policy.

  6. The appropriate choice of fiscal policy rules and how binding they should be.

  7. The implications for UK fiscal policy of a more active regional policy.

  8. Recent statistical developments and the extent to which key data are subject to major revision; and their significance for setting monetary and fiscal policy.

  9. The importance of improved forecasting and economic model building for policy-making.

  10. The relevance for the UK of the conduct of monetary and fiscal policy elsewhere especially the EU and the US.

  11. The appropriateness of the responses of the IMF and World Bank to problems in servicing and repaying country debt.

  12. How satisfactory has the UK's productivity growth performance been?

  13. How can the rate of UK productivity growth best be raised?

  14. What, if any, should be the role of government in increasing growth?

Please note:

Evidence submitted becomes the property of the Committee, and may be published. Witnesses may publicise their written evidence themselves, but in doing so should indicate that it was prepared for the Committee.

Evidence should be clearly printed or typed on single sides of A4 paper, unstapled, and should be set out in numbered paragraphs. The submission should be signed and dated, together with a note of the author's name and status and of whether the evidence is submitted on an individual or corporate basis. Submissions by e-mail are preferred (as attachments in Word), with a signed, hard copy to follow.

Concise submissions of 6 pages or fewer are preferred; longer submissions should include a single page summary. Annexes may be submitted, but will not necessarily be published. Relevant material prepared for other purposes (such as reports or submissions to other inquiries and consultations) may be submitted to the Committee for information, but will not be printed. Witnesses who submit original written evidence may be invited to give oral evidence at Westminster; transcripts of such sessions are published.

Evidence and inquiries should be addressed to:

The Clerk to the Economic Affairs Committee
House of Lords
London SW1A 0PW

Telephone 020 7219 6968; facsimile 020 7219 5355; email economicaffairs@parliament.uk.