LONDON (Reuters) - The Bank of England’s 435 billion-pound ($534 billion)government bond-buying program is likely to bring about a 300 billion-pound increase in overall spending in Britain, equivalent to three times annual public health spending, the BoE’s chief economist said on Wednesday.
Andy Haldane also said the quantitative easing program would lead to the central bank holding around a third of the stock of British government bonds by 2018.
The BoE announced an expansion of its QE program in August, along with a cut in interest rates, as it sought to offset the hit to the economy from the country’s decision to leave the European Union.
The central bank voted to increase the total amount of bonds it would buy by 60 billion pounds, after previously buying 375 billion pounds of public debt between 2009 and 2012.
Two weeks ago British Prime Minister Theresa May publicly criticized what she called the “bad side effects” of the BoE’s policy of lowering interest rates and buying government bonds.
Haldane made the comments in a presentation on QE at the Cass Business School in London.
($1 = 0.8151 pounds)
Reporting by William Schomberg, editing by David Milliken