Bank of England's Haldane says firms' Brexit worries "up sharply"
TALLINN, Sept 19 (Reuters) - British businesses are more
worried about Brexit uncertainty than was the case a few months
ago, Bank of England chief economist Andy Haldane said on
"While mentions of Brexit have fallen from their referendum
peak, it is notable that they have picked up sharply over the
past few months, with measures of uncertainty following suit,"
Haldane said in a speech at Estonia's central bank.
Haldane was referring to an analysis of businesses
conversations with its network of regional staff.
Last month the BoE raised interest rates to 0.75 percent,
only its second increase since before the financial crisis more
than a decade ago.
Economists polled by Reuters do not expect the BoE to raise
rates again until after Britain leaves the European Union in
March next year.
The bulk of Haldane's speech focused on how central bank
communication could win public trust at a time of widespread
distrust of traditional institutions.
He defended the central bank's policy of 'forward guidance'
on interest rates, which he said had given households and
businesses a useful steer, even if some financial market
participants found it lacking.
"Pricing interest rates in financial markets was not the
main purpose of forward guidance in the first place," he said.
"By allaying fears about too-rapid a rise in rates, it is likely
to have encouraged spending and supported the economy," he
(Reporting by Tarmo Virki, writing by David Milliken; editing
by David Stamp)
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