BoE's King: Treasury Committee Opening Statement

In a statement to the Treasury Committee on Thursday24 March , Bank of England governor Mervyn King said that consumer spending has turned out to be significantly weaker than policymakers had expected.

But King said that it was too early to say that the slowdown was permanent because of difficulties in assessing economic data between Christmas and Easter and so the Monetary Policy Committee was hedging its bets.

"In the near-term, the pace of consumer spending has slowed quite markedly from what

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