UK appoints US economist Catherine Mann to Bank of England MPC
LONDON, June 22 (Reuters) – The UK Finance Department has appointed Catherine Mann, until recently Citibank’s chief global economist, to be the newest member of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee as the central bank is pushing its way past the COVID pandemic.
Mann’s three-year tenure on the nine-member panel – which sets interest rates and oversees the BoE’s £ 895 billion ($ 1.24 trillion) bond buying program – will begin September 1. She replaces Gertjan Vlieghe, who resigns after six years.
“I am very happy to announce the appointment of Dr Catherine L. Mann,” said UK Finance Minister Rishi Sunak. “His extensive experience in policy, research and the private sector will be of great benefit to the MPC.”
The Department of Finance also said Jonathan Haskel, professor of economics at Imperial College Business School in London, will serve a second three-year term. External members of the MPC can serve a maximum of six years.
The BoE is also on the hunt for a new chief economist, after Andy Haldane – the central bank’s biggest worry about inflation – announced his resignation in April.
Prior to her three years at Citibank, Mann was Chief Economist at the Paris-based Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development between 2014 and 2017. She was an Economist at the US Federal Reserve between 1984 and 1997.
The American joins the British central bank as he tries to push the world’s fifth-largest economy away from the coronavirus crisis with record levels of monetary stimulus, without triggering a sustained rise in inflation.
In a Citi research note published on June 10, which Mann co-wrote with another Citi colleague, she wrote about the inflation issues that the recovery from COVID-19 posed to central banks around the world.
“Global inflationary pressures on the supply side have propagated almost simultaneously through production links, as the structure of global production is very rigid in the short run,” the note said.
“There may be ripple effects of supply side constraints and inflationary pressures in different sectors in the United States, but at the moment it is too early to call,” Mann and colleague Aaron wrote. Liu.
In comments in February, Mann pointed out that the key question for inflation-fighting central banks was whether companies had enough power to raise the prices they charge consumers, or whether rising prices costs is absorbed into profit margins.
Many companies have reported reduced pricing power due to global and online competition, she added.
The BoE said last month that it expected inflation to hit 2.5% by the end of this year, but fall back to its 2% target in 2022 amid bottlenecks in the economy. supply chain and base effects of depressed prices from last year’s COVID are fading.
Mann’s appointment will bring the number of women in the MPC to two, as she joins Silvana Tenreyro. British lawmakers criticized the Finance Ministry for the low number of women appointed to senior BoE positions.
($ 1 = 0.7192 pounds)
Written by William Schomberg, edited by David Milliken
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