Bank of England representatives meet with businesses and pupils
PUBLISHED: 14:00 19 November 2018 | UPDATED: 16:39 19 November 2018
Representatives from the Bank of England visited Barking and Newham to find out how the area’s economy is doing.
Senior policy maker Silvana Tenreyro and agent Rob Elder spoke to representatives from businesses and charities to discuss their concerns.
“There were two themes that were very recurrent,” Silvana said.
“Most businesses have been doing alright, in terms of activity. They are facing significant uncertainty at the moment because of Brexit and that has made many of them hold back investment.
“The other theme was labour shortages. Many businesses are facing significant shortages in skills, many companies are finding it hard to recruit new people.”
Silvana is part of the monetary policy committee, which sets rates at the Bank of England.
She is one of nine people to discuss the economy once every six weeks and decide whether to raise or lower the interest rates.
She explained: “We will be adjusting the rate in response to Brexit. In which direction, that’s not clear yet.”
As part of her job, Silvana has travelled around the country to find out how towns and cities are coping in the current economic climate and the uncertainty surrounding Brexit.
“Obviously it affects different regions differently and also different businesses within a region differently,” she said.
“We’ve seen a range of responses on how much Brexit has affected their decisions.”
Explaining the purpose of speaking to businesses, Rob added: “The target is price inflation, to try to make sure prices aren’t growing too quickly or too slowly.
“If the Bank of England gets that wrong, then it could be destabilising for the general economy.”
The pair also visited Kingsford Community School in Beckton, where they spoke to 100 13 and 14-year-olds about their role and what’s going on with the economy.
“We wanted to talk to them about economics and get them interested, in particular the job the Bank of England does,” Silvana said.
“I think it’s very important that all citizens are aware of what we do and that they learn from early on.”