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Student Economists 'Take On' Bank of England


A team of budding student Economists from Trent took on the role of the Bank of England when they competed in the 15th annual Bank of England and The Times Interest Rate Challenge - Target Two Point Zero - on Thursday (20 November). 

Target Two Point Zero sees teams of students aged 16-18 take on the role of the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee, assess economic conditions and the outlook for inflation, and tell panels of judges what monetary policy they would set to achieve the Government's inflation target of 2.0%.

The seven-strong Trent College Year 13 team of Elliot Wragg (capt), Edward Church, Peter Nathanail, Kevin Xu, helped by Leo Crocker, Jerry Wang and Dom Kalantary, were among more than 1,000 students who participated in the Challenge’s regional heats.

The UK economy remains at the heart of public debate with the Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee’s monthly decisions always making news.

Some 314 teams competed in one of the 42 regional heats with each team analysing UK and global economic data and their possible impact on inflation and the economic outlook for the UK, just as the Monetary Policy Committee does.

The teams then decided if the current monetary policy is appropriate or needs to be adjusted to meet the 2.0% inflation target set by the Government.

In a presentation to a panel of Bank of England judges each team explained their decision then had that decision scrutinised by the panel, a process that also helps the students develop both teamwork and presentation skills.

Diane Mansell, Head of Economics and Business Education at Trent, said: “We are committed to enabling students to develop both breadth and depth in their knowledge and understanding of our subjects.
“We challenge students to think beyond the obvious and competitions like Target Two Point Zero raise their awareness of the economic considerations and allows them to apply their knowledge practically to make informed business decisions.”

The team from Trent came second in the regional heat held at Nottingham Racecourse on Thursday. They recommended an interest rate of 0.25% compared with the Bank of England’s official rate of 0.5% set by the Monetary Policy Committee on 6 November 2014. They also recommended no change of asset purchases under the Asset Purchase Facility, as did the MPC on 6 November 2014.

Peter Nathanail, Year 13 student comments "I really enjoyed taking part in the challenge, and my economic understanding has improved greatly as a result. It was great to take the theory we have learned in the classroom and apply it to a real life situation, and it gave me a real insight into the challenges faced by Bank of England economists on a daily basis. We were of course slightly disappointed not to win, but to come runners up is a great result which the whole team is very proud of."

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