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Bell tolls as Sachs joins the MPC.

Goldman Sachs economist David Walton will take over from Marian Bell on the Bank of England's interest-rate setting Monetary Policy Committee from July 1, depriving the panel of one of its most dovish members.

Chancellor Gordon Brown announced Ms Bell, whose three-year term officially ends on Tuesday, would stay on until the end of June when Mr Walton takes her place.

Economists said the appointment was not surprising given Mr Walton's resume includes work at the Treasury and nearly two decades as aCity economist. But the move could tilt the MPC towards being generally more prone to raising interest rates.

'The fact Bell has been statistically the most dovish of the current MPC members suggests that her departure will shift the balance of power a little towards the hawks,' said Jonathan Loynes, chief UK economist at Capital Economics.

'Where Walton will sit on the dove/hawk spectrum is unclear.

'Goldman Sachs are not known as a dovish house on rates. But in recent evidence to the Treasury Select Committee, he sounded quite bearish on the economy.'

Ms Bell's departure will reduce the number of women on the nine-strong committee to two

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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 27, 2005
Words:195
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