BoE Chief Economist Appointed As Industrial Strategy Council Head

    The government has named Andy Haldane, the chief economist of Bank of England, to serve as the chairman of a new industrial strategy council in an attempt to boost the low productivity of the United Kingdom.

    The council is set to meet three or four times every year. It will publish a regular report regarding the progress of the government on implementing its industrial strategy.

    The body will also be providing some advice on delivering on its industrial strategy as well as the ways on how to measure productivity. It will also give advice on the “better use of data across government.”

    Haldane will be receiving no additional salary for the role. He said that the council will take into account the views of people from investors, business, academics, and economists, as it attempts to give “impartial and independent evaluations” regarding the progress of the government in carrying out its industrial strategy.

    Greg Clark, the business secretary, said that Haldane will give “authority and independence, as well as the benefit of his thought leadership in this area.”

    Haldane is one of the most vocal proponents of attempts to boost the productivity in the United Kingdom. In some speeches, he has previously discussed the effect of “zombie” companies which have been able to survive only due to low-interest rates that were imposed during the past decade, thus holding back productivity.

    In a speech that he delivered last year at the London School of Economics, he said that improving productivity is “perhaps the greatest gift” for long-term prosperity.

    He added: “If history is any guide, there is unlikely to be any single measure which puts productivity growth back on track,” he said. “But measures which support the long tail of companies, currently operating at low levels of productivity, have the potential to do considerable good.”

    Today, Haldane said that the industrial strategy is “one of the most critical strands of work taking place across government and has the potential to raise living standards across the whole of the UK, boost people’s earning powers and put the UK at the forefront of future industries internationally.”

    Mark Carney, the governor of the Bank of England,  said that the involvement of Haldane will help the outlook on growth and inflation pf the interest rate-setting monetary policy committee.