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Mr G, Great Sankey

The Bank of England signals the end of quantitative easing, causing fears of another crash

The government’s policy of quantitative easing (QE) over the last 5 years has had a positive influence on the country’s economy and helped the recovery of the UK property market. However, there are serious concerns from market analysts that the withdrawal of QE measures will cause another crash in the global economy.

The US Federal Reserve announced last month that they will begin to scale back QE measures by the end of the year and it could be completely withdrawn as early as 2014. The markets took a 2-day downward slide after the Chair of the Federal Reserve hinted that they would be withdrawing QE measures, which points ominously toward a far more severe downturn when a formal exit strategy from QE is put in place.

The Bank of England has also signalled the end of QE measures in the UK; the Monetary Policy Committee has repeatedly voted against extending stimulus measures in the UK. The minutes from their July meeting suggest that they would support taking a step back from QE as a means of stimulating the economy, in favour of a mixed strategy which will include guiding the markets.

The fact that the national banks are even considering withdrawing QE suggests that the global economy is recovering, and there is a light in the end of the tunnel of recession. However, it is dangerous to assume that the worst is behind us; the UK economy has been bolstered by QE measures for the last 5 years and it remains to be seen if it can cope without any stimulus. The prospect of a crash in the markets when QE measures are withdrawn means that market analysts are predicting yet another dip in the economy when QE ends.

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