The United Kingdom became a member of the European Economic Community on 1st January. The economic and financial consequences will ultimately be far-reaching but the formal accession, as expected, had little immediate impact. Sterling continued to float and was relatively unaffected by the currency upheaval in February. The outcome will be reviewed in the next issue of the Bulletin. In the period generally covered by this Commentary November 1972 to January 1973 - inflation remained the chief concern. The Government announced the second stage of their arrangements for the control of prices, incomes and dividends on 17th January. Some concern about the balance of payments also developed as the deterioration in the overseas trade figures in the second half of 1972 ceased to be obscured by the effects of last summer's dock strike. The Government set an unusually early date for the Budget, 6th March; this Bulletin went to press before then.