March 14, 2014 / 1:06 PM / in 3 years

UK growth may be stronger than official data - Bank of England's Bean

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney (R) chats with deputy Governor Charlie Bean as they arrive at the bank's quarterly inflation report news conference at the Bank of England in London November 13, 2013.Toby Melville

LONDON (Reuters) - The pace of Britain's economic growth could be stronger than official data has suggested, Bank of England policymaker Charlie Bean was quoted as saying on Friday.

"Business surveys suggest output growth is a bit stronger than the official data. Employment growth suggests the same," Bean said in an interview with the Press Association.

Britain's economy grew 0.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013 to give full-year growth of 1.8 percent.

Bean was asked in the interview whether the BoE's 375 billion-pound stock of gilts, bought under its quantitative easing programme, could be allowed to run to maturity in its entirety and not sold back to the market.

"In principle, that would be one way of winding it down, to let the gilts mature naturally," Bean was quoted as saying. "It would take about 20 to 25 years. Then we would work out whether we owed the Treasury money on the arrangement or the other way round."

Writing by William Schomberg; editing by Ana Nicolaci da Costa

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