Economy will bounce back as people spend again - BoE's Haldane

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LONDON (Reuters) - Bank of England Chief Economist Andy Haldane said on Wednesday he remained confident that Britain’s economy was poised for a quick bounce-back as the country races ahead with its coronavirus vaccinations and restrictions are lifted.

“My sense will be... chatting to people, they are desperate to get their lives back, desperate to get out spending and socialising and working,” Haldane told ITV television.

“And if that happens then some of those savings ... do get spent. Even a small amount of them, we are talking about a pretty rip-roaring recovery.”

Haldane has been the most upbeat member of the BoE’s nine-strong Monetary Policy Committee about the economy’s growth prospects although he said there was a risk that people remained unwilling to go out and resume their normal lives.

Last week Haldane said he expected a “rapid-fire recovery” and has previously likened the economy to a coiled spring as households prepare to spend the money that they have saved after being stuck at home for much of the last year.

Haldane told ITV it was important that households spent down those savings as a way to create jobs for the people hit hardest by the crisis - the young, the poor, the least skilled, women and ethnic minorities.

In the longer term, education, infrastructure and other investment would be key to maintaining growth and reducing inequality, he said.

Reporting by William Schomberg; Editing by Andrew MacAskill