Daily Express

We’ll do all we can, says Bai­ley

- By Holly Wil­liams Finance · Business · England · United Kingdom · Bank of England · Monetary Policy Committee

BANK of Eng­land gover­nor An­drew Bai­ley has warned the surge in Covid- 19 cases threat­ens the out­look for the UK econ­omy, but stressed pol­i­cy­mak­ers will do “ev­ery­thing we can” to sup­port house­holds and busi­nesses.

Speak­ing on a Bri­tish Cham­bers of Com­merce we­bi­nar, Mr Bai­ley cau­tioned over “hard yards ahead” for the econ­omy as Bri­tain faces a sec­ond wave of coro­n­avirus in­fec­tions.

He said the rapid rise of cases “re­in­force the down­side risks” to the econ­omy as he laid bare wor­ries over un­em­ploy­ment that is ris­ing faster than shown in of­fi­cial data and long- term scar­ring from the cri­sis.

He said: “The lat­est news, that we are see­ing a very un­for­tu­nate, faster re­turn of Covid- 19 is ex­tremely dif­fi­cult news for all of us and the whole coun­try.

“That does re­in­force the down­side risks we have in our fore­casts. The Bank of Eng­land will do ev­ery­thing we can do within our re­mit and pow­ers to sup­port the busi­nesses and peo­ple of this coun­try. And we will do that.”

His com­ments came as the lat­est data re­vealed new Covid- 19 cases reached 4,300 on Mon­day and as gov­ern­ment health ex­perts warned the UK could see 50,000 cases a day by mid- Oc­to­ber un­less re­stric­tions are tight­ened ur­gently.

Mr Bai­ley said now was the time to “stop and re­think” the fur­lough sup­port scheme for work­ers, which comes to an end next month, in favour of a tar­geted ap­proach.

But he said he did not want to “tie the Chan­cel­lor’s hands”, adding “the world is chang­ing rapidly around us”.

He also played down the prospect of the UK im­mi­nently slash­ing in­ter­est rates into neg­a­tive ter­ri­tory for the first time in his­tory, in­sist­ing the Bank just needed to make sure it could do so if needed. Spec­u­la­tion over be­low- zero rates mounted last week af­ter min­utes of its lat­est Mon­e­tary Pol­icy Com­mit­tee meet­ing re­vealed the Bank was look­ing at how neg­a­tive rates could be put into prac­tice.

But Mr Bai­ley said: “It would be a car­di­nal sin in my view if we said we had a tool in the box which we didn’t think could be op­er­a­tionally used. Yes it’s in the tool bag, but that doesn’t mean we’re go­ing to use neg­a­tive rates.”

 ??  ?? VOW: Gover­nor An­drew Bai­ley
VOW: Gover­nor An­drew Bai­ley

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