Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Bank of England: 'More QE could be needed'

Britain's economic recovery remains fragile and more quantitative easing could yet be needed if deflation becomes a risk, BoE policymaker Paul Fisher said on Tuesday.

Speaking a day ahead of the release of minutes from the Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee’s June meeting, Mr Fisher said, "If we get stuck in a deflationary rut it's not clear we have sufficient ability to get out of that quickly.

"I've said in the past it [QE] is still very much on the table as one of our potential policy actions, and it's certainly not ruled out and people need to be aware of that."

Only one member of the BoE's policy panel, Adam Posen, has voted in favour of expanding the QE programme to pump more money into a UK economy whose struggle to generate firmer growth has pushed back expectations for a first rise in interest rates.

Mr Fisher was taking questions after a speech at a bond conference in London in which he defended the bank's policy of keeping rates at rock-bottom despite inflation running at more than double its 2pc target.

Mr Fisher admitted the central bank had underestimated the risk to inflation in recent years, but said it was hard to argue that policy should have been set differently. (read more)