LONDON — Bank of England (BoE) Chief Economist Andy Haldane said inflation could rise by more than expected as progress on coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccines and huge amounts of stimulus raised the chances of a swift economic bounce-back.

“As the economic recovery gathers pace next year, it will be important central banks remain squarely focussed on their core medium-term price stability mandates,” Mr. Haldane said in a speech to a University College London webinar on Saturday.

Mr. Haldane has consistently sounded more upbeat than his fellow interest-rate setters about the prospects for an economic recovery in Britain after the record 25% slump triggered by the first coronavirus lockdown in the spring.

Mr. Haldane said recent news of progress with the development of COVID-19 vaccines “offers some economic light at the end of the long, dark tunnel of this year” and there could be a rapid economic recovery in Britain and globally.

“Taken together with the huge amounts of policy stimulus provided this year, this will in my view leave risks to the economic outlook more evenly balanced than for some time, including risks to inflation over the medium term,” he said.

Britain’s most recent consumer price index showed inflation at 0.7%. — Reuters

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