LONDON (Reuters) - Bank of England Chief Economist Andy Haldane said on Thursday that the central bank was right to keep an eye on a strong increase in consumer lending but that there were reasons to believe that the pickup was not a major problem.
Haldane also said the BoE’s current neutral stance towards monetary policy felt like the right way of balancing the trade-off between rising inflation and supporting economic growth.
BoE data earlier this week showed lending to consumers expanded in November by the largest amount in more than 11 years.
“You’ll have seen and read from our Financial Policy Committee that this is something that they’re keeping a close ... eye on. And they are right so to do,” Haldane said at an event in London hosted by the Institute for Government.
“Nonetheless, we need to put all this in a bit of context. Aggregate borrowing by households isn’t tearing away right now. We’ve gone through a long period where borrowing, both by companies and households, has actually been rather subdued.”
Reporting by David Milliken and Ritvik Carvalho; writing by Andy Bruce; editing by William Schomberg