Year 13 team members Cariosa O’Harte, Maggie McBride, Kate McLaughlin and Cormac McCarry swept aside competitive opposition from six other schools drawn from throughout the North of England as well as from Scotland to bring home the top prize, an impressive trophy, as well as the honour of representing the area in the UK Finals at the Bank of England, London, onMarch 22.
Having won the Northern Ireland heat in November, the Loreto team will join the other five area winners to compete for the Challenge trophy and a £5,000 prize. At the Area Final, the team took on the role of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee and had to assess economic conditions and the outlook for inflation, and decide what level of interest rate they would set to meet the Government’s inflation target of 2.0%. They recommended an interest rate of 0.5% compared with the Bank of England’s official rate of 0.5% set by the MPC on 4 February 2016. They also recommended a total of £375bn of asset purchases under the Asset Purchase Facility, compared with the £375bn agreed by the MPC. Following a detailed presentation, the team then faced close and complex questions from the panel.