Bank of England Governor Mark Carney leads the bank's quarterly inflation report news conference at the Bank of England in London November 13, 2013. Photograph: Getty Images.
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Five questions answered on the Bank of England’s latest report

What is the Bank of England’s forecast for growth figures?

Bank of England governor Mark Carney has said in the banks latest report that the UK economic recovery has ‘taken hold’. We answer five questions on this latest news.

What has instigated this more positive economic outlook from Carney?

The report co-insides with positive unemployment figures that show employment is at its lowest in three years  – Carney previously said he would not consider raising interest rates, currently at 0.5 per cent until the jobless rate falls to 7 per cent or below.

What’s the current jobless rate?

On Wednesday latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) it fell to 7.6 per cent, the lowest rate in more than three years.

The number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance fell by 41,700 to 1.31 million in October.

There was also positive figures for youth unemployment with the number of jobless 16-to-24 year-olds falling by 9,000 to 965,000.

So, what is the Bank of England’s forecast for growth figures?

Growth for this year is forecast to be 1.6 per cent, up from 1.4 per cent previously.  Next year annual growth is expected to be 2.8 per cent, rather than the 2.5 per cent it predicted in August.

What else did the bank’s report say?

The report said: "In the United Kingdom, recovery has finally taken hold. The economy is growing robustly as lifting uncertainty and thawing credit conditions start to unlock pent-up demand."

When does the bank think unemployment will reach the magical 7 per cent figure?

The Bank said: "The MPC [Monetary Policy Committee] attaches only a two-in-five chance to the... unemployment rate having reached the 7 per cent threshold by the end of 2014.

"The corresponding figures for the end of 2015 and 2016 are around three in five and two in three respectively."

So, being optimistic unemployment could reach 7 per cent next year, two years ahead of the time frame given in August. 

Heidi Vella is a features writer for Nridigital.com

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Voters are turning against Brexit but the Lib Dems aren't benefiting

Labour's pro-Brexit stance is not preventing it from winning the support of Remainers. Will that change?

More than a year after the UK voted for Brexit, there has been little sign of buyer's remorse. The public, including around a third of Remainers, are largely of the view that the government should "get on with it".

But as real wages are squeezed (owing to the Brexit-linked inflationary spike) there are tentative signs that the mood is changing. In the event of a second referendum, an Opinium/Observer poll found, 47 per cent would vote Remain, compared to 44 per cent for Leave. Support for a repeat vote is also increasing. Forty one per cent of the public now favour a second referendum (with 48 per cent opposed), compared to 33 per cent last December. 

The Liberal Democrats have made halting Brexit their raison d'être. But as public opinion turns, there is no sign they are benefiting. Since the election, Vince Cable's party has yet to exceed single figures in the polls, scoring a lowly 6 per cent in the Opinium survey (down from 7.4 per cent at the election). 

What accounts for this disparity? After their near-extinction in 2015, the Lib Dems remain either toxic or irrelevant to many voters. Labour, by contrast, despite its pro-Brexit stance, has hoovered up Remainers (55 per cent back Jeremy Corbyn's party). 

In some cases, this reflects voters' other priorities. Remainers are prepared to support Labour on account of the party's stances on austerity, housing and education. Corbyn, meanwhile, is a eurosceptic whose internationalism and pro-migration reputation endear him to EU supporters. Other Remainers rewarded Labour MPs who voted against Article 50, rebelling against the leadership's stance. 

But the trend also partly reflects ignorance. By saying little on the subject of Brexit, Corbyn and Labour allowed Remainers to assume the best. Though there is little evidence that voters will abandon Corbyn over his EU stance, the potential exists.

For this reason, the proposal of a new party will continue to recur. By challenging Labour over Brexit, without the toxicity of Lib Dems, it would sharpen the choice before voters. Though it would not win an election, a new party could force Corbyn to soften his stance on Brexit or to offer a second referendum (mirroring Ukip's effect on the Conservatives).

The greatest problem for the project is that it lacks support where it counts: among MPs. For reasons of tribalism and strategy, there is no emergent "Gang of Four" ready to helm a new party. In the absence of a new convulsion, the UK may turn against Brexit without the anti-Brexiteers benefiting. 

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.