Congratulations to the 2014 winners of The Queen’s Award for Enterprise. The recipients of this year’s awards are a testament to the renewed entrepreneurial spirit taking shape in the United Kingdom, as the economy emerges from one of the most difficult periods in its history.
This renewed entrepreneurial spirit is mirrored by renewed economic prospects for UK households and businesses, as uncertainty dissipates and confidence returns. The UK economy is performing strongly, 700,000 more people are in work than a year ago, and inflation has returned to just below the Bank of England’s 2% target. In other words, the economy has started to head back towards normal. In prospect is an expansion supported by business investment, rising real wages and improving productivity growth.
The Bank is doing its part to ensure that this expansion will be strong, sustainable and balanced. Our work to strengthen the resilience of the banking system, which began in earnest under my predecessor Lord King, will ensure that banks can play their rightful role in supporting the real economy. Our accommodative monetary policy, including guidance that future adjustments to interest rates can be expected to be gradual and limited, is giving businesses and households confidence to plan and invest. And the tools we have developed to mitigate risks to financial stability mean that monetary policy can focus on supporting the expansion without taking unnecessary risks.
Across the Bank we are setting policy so that entrepreneurs such as the winners of this year’s Queen’s Award for Enterprise can focus on what they do best: competing, innovating and most importantly, growing the UK economy.