I’d have cut rates at Christmas, says Bank of England’s former chief economist Andy Haldane

The Bank of England’s former chief economist has taken a swipe at the Old Lady for being too slow to bring down interest rates.

Andy Haldane said he would have already voted to cut interest rates given the UK’s slow growth rate and progress on taming inflation. 

He said: ‘I’d be cutting rates now, and probably would have been from the tail end of last year.’

He told Sky News that although inflation would be within spitting distance of the 2 per cent target by the spring, there is a danger that the Bank could be too reluctant to slash rates.

He added: ‘They [the Bank] were slow on the way up, and we know that now, and that’s one of the factors that contributed to inflation getting away from us.’

Slow growth: The Bank of England’s former chief economist Andy Haldane (pictured) said he would have already voted to cut interest rates 

He added: ‘The essence of monetary policy is to look ahead – not to where inflation is, but to where inflation will be.’

The Bank of England left rates on hold for the fourth time in a row at its latest meeting this month, but policymakers opened the door to cutting interest rates later in the year.

Inflation has dropped from over 11 per cent in Autumn 2022 to 4 per cent at the end of last year.

The Bank predicts it could reach 2 per cent by the second quarter of this year, although it will then pick up again in the second half of 2024.

Economists at Goldman Sachs, meanwhile, warned that Brexit has weighed on the UK economy by pushing up inflation and slowing growth.

The US banking giant said real gross domestic product (GDP) had underperformed by around 5 per cent since the European Union membership referendum in 2016.

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