Mark Carney to miss Jackson Hole summit of top central bankers


Bank of England Governor Mark Carney will be skipping a key summit of top central bankers in Jackson Hole this week, sending a potential successor in his stead.

It will leave Mr Carney as the odd one out among his US and European peers, with Federal Reserve boss Janet Yellen and European Central Bank president Mario Draghi both set to attend the prestigious gathering in Wyoming which runs from Thursday to Saturday this week.

A spokesman for the Bank of England said there was "no specific reason" why Mr Carney was missing out on the annual conference, but stopped short of giving details of the governor's diary.

Mr Carney will instead send his deputy governor for monetary policy Ben Broadbent, who has become a frontrunner to succeed the central bank boss when he steps down in June 2019.

"Whenever the governor steps down, Ben Broadbent will be one of the people up for consideration for replacing him", Samuel Tombs, chief UK economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, said.

"That's still a few years away until the governor gives up his post, and so a lot can change."

Mr Broadbent and Mr Carney have been closely aligned on monetary policy in recent years, despite a growing chorus of hawks on the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) pushing to wind down the Bank's asset purchasing programmes and hike interest rates from record lows of 0.25%.

Mr Tombs said Mr Broadbent is likely to be a safe pair of hands at Jackson Hole in Mr Carney's absence.

"Ben Broadbent's views have been very similar to Mark Carney's over the last few years, I don't think they've ever disagreed on interest rate votes or a QE (quantitative easing) decision since Mark Carney arrived at the bank in 2013.

"Ben Broadbent in his recent comments hasn't signalled that he's close to voting for a rate hike.

"He seems very closely aligned with the Governor, so I don't think the Bank of England will be putting on a different impression at Jackson Hole as a result of this shift to the deputy governor attending."

The Jackson Hole conference, hosted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, has been running for more than three decades and will this year run under the theme of "Fostering a Dynamic Global Economy".

The Bank of Japan has not yet confirmed whether Governor Haruhiko Kuroda will be attending this week's summit, which could mark his first missed Jackson Hole conference since 2013, according to reports.

ECB head Mario Draghi is set to deliver a speech at the event, though reports suggest he will sidestep any discussion of the ECB's own policy plans, despite signs the central bank could start unwinding its asset purchasing programme.

It comes amid a global trend towards reviewing loose monetary policy that was introduced in response to the 2008 financial crisis.

The Bank of England has yet to change its own policy, with the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) voting 6-2 to keep rates on hold earlier this month, as lacklustre economic growth weakened support for a interest rate hike.