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Osborne’s haven may really be hell

Yes, gilt yields are falling, but it’s the dire economic outlook that’s driving them down

Less than a month after yields on 10-year gilts fell below 3%, they dropped through 2.5% yesterday. Chancellor George Osborne may view this development as encouraging since he can trot out his line about the UK being “a safe haven” because we can borrow cheaply.

Come on, though: yields on many countries’ debts are falling because investors are pricing in the risk of recession. Britain’s yields were given an extra push downwards today because the latest employment data was dire and because even the hawks on Bank of England’s monetary policy committee are now worried by the lack of growth. Safe haven? No: a safe bet that interest rates won’t be going up any time soon. © Guardian News & Media Limited 2011 | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds