We Made a Snakes and Ladders Game for Mark Carney That You Too Can Play

Janet Yellen can join in the fun!
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The debate over when the Bank of England will raise interest rate has been running for a very, very, very long time now.

So economists at Bloomberg Intelligence have managed to make it fun again. With the specific timing depending on a host of moving parts in the economy - wage growth, inflation and unemployment - they reckon those factors will direct policy makers like counters on a snakes and ladders board game. 

Take a look at their nifty board. There's a larger, printable version here.

snakes


How does it work?

Roll the dice and make your way toward interest-rate liftoff. Economic surprises take the form of snakes and ladders, such as faster wage growth or a hard landing in China. Stop on one and you either climb the rungs or descend the snake.

It's not all fun and games, though, and there is a big policy decision ahead. BI economists Dan Hanson and Jamie Murray have penciled in May 2016 as the mostly likely time for a U.K. hike, but there are risks. 

Janet Yellen and Federal Reserve policy makers met this week and kept the door open to a possible rate increase in December. The BOE's next announcements are on Nov. 5 and Dec. 10, while the Fed comes around again on Dec. 16. 

"Ultimately the decision of when to start the process of moving away from an emergency setting for interest rates will be made when the BOE, like the Fed, sees domestic conditions as being consistent with their forward-looking mandates,'' said Hanson and Murray. "At the moment, it seems likely that both central banks will be convinced of that in 2016, with the Fed moving ahead of the BOE, but it would only take a couple of ladders or the odd snake for that outlook to change.''

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