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BoE's Haldane says speed of reactions to COVID crisis gives hope

·1-min read
The Chief Economist of the Bank of England, Andy Haldane, listens from the audience at an event at the Bank of England in the City of London
The Chief Economist of the Bank of England, Andy Haldane, listens from the audience at an event at the Bank of England in the City of London

LONDON (Reuters) - Bank of England Chief Economist Andy Haldane said on Thursday he had been quite reassured during the COVID-19 crisis by the speed at which governments and central banks had responded, and how quickly businesses and workers had adapted.

Answering questions about the impact of coronavirus restrictions on the UK job market and how long it may last, Haldane said the crisis provided an opportunity to rethink the country's approach to business and skills.

"It's for us to seize that opportunity, as it was at the end of the Second World War," he said in an interview with ITV.

"I've been quite reassured during this crisis how quickly governments and central banks have responded, how quickly businesses and indeed workers have adapted their way of working," he said.

"So I've got some hope that the searing experience of the COVID crisis may have flexed that muscle, the ability to change at greater pace than in the past."

Haldane was interviewed before finance minister Rishi Sunak announced a raft of new measures to bolster the economy in coming months, including a job support scheme.

(Reporting by Estelle Shirbon; Editing by Sandra Maler and Chizu Nomiyama)