Jobs boom at risk if Bank of England waits too long to hike rates - economist

The Bank of England's chief economist has warned that Britain's employment boom could be at risk if the central bank waits too long before hiking interest rates.

Andy Haldane told an influential group of MPs he wants to avoid a scenario where the Bank is forced to perform a "handbrake turn" because it did not move quick enough to curb rising inflation.

The comments come after the Bank's nine-strong Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) voted unanimously to leave rates unchanged at 0.5% earlier this month, but said the cost of borrowing would need to rise sooner and by more than expected to get inflation back to target.

Speaking to the Treasury Select Committee, Mr Haldane said: "Historically the thing that has really killed jobs has been central banks stepping on the brakes too late. As Janet Yellen said, 'recoveries don't die of old age'.

"They die because central banks step on (the brakes) because they react too late.

"And we're absolutely clear, we don't want to be back there again because it's bad news for jobs.

"And that means going in this limited and gradual way to head things off in advance to prevent having to step on the brakes, a handbrake turn... and that's fundamentally at the root of our role as a central bank."

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