Bank of England hires Barclays economist to join forecast team

City A.M. Reporter
THE BANK of England said yesterday that it had appointed Barclays’ chief UK economist, Simon Hayes, to head its economic forecasting team.

Hayes, who worked at the Bank for eight years before joining Barclays, will be responsible for drafting the central bank’s quarterly economic forecasts and will report to BoE chief economist Spencer Dale.

No official start date has been set for Hayes, but the current incumbent, Robert Woods, is due to complete his secondment at the BoE and return to the Treasury in 2014.

The cental bank’s forecasts have come in for regular criticism from politicians and some economists since the start of the financial crisis for not predicting the persistence of inflation and the weakness of growth – though many other forecasts have shown similar errors.

The BoE is due to publish its next set of quarterly forecasts on 13 November, with its unemployment forecasts set to be closely watched for signs that the levels are nearing the seven per cent mark, which could trigger an interest rate rise.