Plague of Locusts Next? BOE Boss Jokes in Warning on U.K.’s Woes
Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey jokingly warned of the mounting problems facing the U.K. economy by referencing the Biblical plagues of Egypt.
Speaking to economists on Monday evening, Bailey said so many challenges had emerged in recent months -- including a run on gasoline stations and a loss of wind to generate energy -- that he was tempted to ask “and when are the locusts due to arrive?”
“The switch of demand from goods to services, as Covid has faded in terms of its economic impact, has not taken place to date on the scale expected, he said. “Meanwhile, supply bottlenecks and labor shortages have weighed on output and are continuing,” and in some cases increasing.
“A number of these supply bottlenecks are not obviously a product of Covid, though others are,” he said. “It is also possible that the economic fragility created by Covid has amplified the impact of other shocks –- either that or the gods really are against us.”
Bailey concluded his speech to the Society of Professional Economists by warning that an economy that is already slowing faces “hard yards” ahead, with inflation pressures building and uncertainty over how the currently tight labor market will react following the end of the furlough program on Sept. 30.
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