28 MARCH 1998, Page 20

Seasonal adjustment

THIS must be a sign of the times, and all that we have to do now is to work out which way it is pointing. First of all, at Christmas, the Bank of England's shop — until now the City's preferred source of stocking fillers — demonetises its chocolate ingots and takes its mint crisp banknotes out of circulation. Now its cupboard is significant- ly barer. For the first time in its long and mysterious history, the Bank is out of stock of fudge.