QE’s most successful showing in top Economics competition

A team of QE Sixth-Formers has come second in a prestigious national Economics competition, the best-ever performance by the School.

Target 2.0 is an annual competition run by the Bank of England and The Times newspaper in which participants are challenged to judge the course of the economy and the outlook for inflation in order to keep it on target, just as the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) aims to do.

“We were delighted with the boys’ achievement,” said Liane Ryan, QE’s Head of Economics. “The organisers said it was a very close-run thing and we were only narrowly pushed into second place.” The winners were independent school, The Perse, from Cambridge.

The QE team comprised Aum Thacker, Joseph Levene, Shanil Modi and Nischal Udani, who carried out the presentation. They were each supported by a researcher: these were Bilal Hussain, Joseph Fiber, Daniel Soyode and Shahvir Magol. Sharmilan Ilankesan set up and analysed a business survey and produced the PowerPoint presentation, which was praised by both bank staff and judges.

""Each round of the competition required the team to tell the judges what monetary policy they thought would offer the best chance of meeting the Government’s inflation target of 2%, and why.  The team analysed costs & prices, the labour market, demand & output and financial markets, both domestic and international. The QE team chose to keep rates at the current record low of 0.5%, to leave the current £375bn level of asset purchases unchanged and not to provide any new forward guidance for future monetary policy.

In the regional heat, the team had 15 minutes to present their decisions; in the South-East area final they had 17 minutes, but for the national final they had 20 minutes. Additional time is allocated as the teams progress, as there is a requirement to explain changes from previous decisions. Each team then had to answer questions posed by the judges for a further 15 minutes, based on both their arguments and wider economic understanding.

“The competition is a fantastic experience and encourages students to develop their macroeconomic knowledge and understanding beyond the A-Level specification,” said Ms Ryan.  “It is an opportunity for them to engage with complex policy decisions and experience presenting to members of the MPC and leading economists and journalists. I am extremely proud of the team and their achievement.”

The boys won a £1,000 prize for the School.