| 7.2°C Belfast

Top Bank official discusses Ulster’s recovery prospects during his visit

Close

Bank of England deputy governor Charles Bean with president of the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce Francis Martin at the Belfast Harbour Commissioners

Bank of England deputy governor Charles Bean with president of the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce Francis Martin at the Belfast Harbour Commissioners

Bank of England deputy governor Charles Bean with president of the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce Francis Martin at the Belfast Harbour Commissioners

A top official from the Bank of England has been in Belfast discussing the likely prospects for economic recovery over the next year.

Addressing the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce, Charles Bean, the Bank’s deputy governor for monetary policy and a member of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), said the crucial question for the committee is whether the slowing of growth around the turn of the year represents a “temporary soft patch”.

Having stagnated over 2010, Mr Bean said it was likely that consumer spending will remain subdued throughout this year at least.

“Public spending will also provide little impetus to overall activity, given the necessary fiscal consolidation that is now under way,” he said.

Even though the MPC expects an economic recovery to around average growth rates, the deputy governor said that would still leave the level of activity well below what might have been expected before the recession — a feature typical of recoveries following banking crises.

And regarding the recent spike in inflation, Mr Bean added that holding inflation as close to the 2% target as possible at all times would have “depressed activity and pay even more and retarded the requisite re-balancing of the economy”.


Privacy