Thu 02 / 07 / 20
An hour with Professor Haskel from the Monetary Policy Committee
By James Hooper, Marketing Assistant of Plus Accounting, Chartered Accountants
On Wednesday 1 July, Jonathan Haskel, Professor of Economics at Imperial College London and a member of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee spoke at a virtual event, hosted by Brighton Chamber.
In total, 60 plus businesses joined the virtual event to hear Professor Haskel deliver his presentation on how we are to recover economically from the global pandemic.
As sponsors of the event, Plus Accounting’s Managing Director, Paul Feist got the ball rolling with an insightful introduction into what businesses can do to survive during these difficult times.
Attention then turned to the data, with Jonathan giving some background into the current climate, with figures indicating that 2020 could turn out to be the most significant single-year decline in economic activity since 1706.
Jonathan then explained the MPC’s Policy to date, including the support for households and businesses to help them through the economic disruption. Since the beginning of the crisis, the MPC has cut Bank Rates from 0.75% to 0.1% and expanded their asset purchase programme by £200bn in March and a further £100bn in June.
Active employment has fallen with many employers accessing the help of the Job Retention Scheme (JRS) and the Self- Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS). There has been a much higher uptake of these support schemes than expected with almost 12 million claims for the schemes combined, which is around one-third of the UK’s 34 million labour workforce. However, there is a great deal of uncertainty around jobs with a recent survey from NMG finding that 30% of furloughed workers think it is “quite likely” that they will lose their job once the schemes come to an end.
Jonathan then moved on to discuss a key issue confronting many businesses, which is allowing their workforce to continue to work from home. He discussed the benefits and convenience of working from home but also contrasted the value that coming into the workplace provides and the long term implications that working from home has on the wider economy. Working in an office brings advantages for on-the-job training for younger workers and monitoring performance more closely.
So, what stats can businesses monitor to show business impact and signs of economic recovery? Jonathan recommends looking at the Office for National Statistics (ONS) for regular results of the Business Impact Survey covering over 30,000 businesses and he also suggested reviewing the Bank of England publications.
In conclusion, Jonathan believes the current stance of the Monetary Policy Committee is appropriate but risks are to the downside.
Following the conclusion of Jonathan’s presentation, Sarah Springford, CEO at Brighton Chamber, read out some of the great questions sent in by those who attended as a finale of an interesting and informative hour with Professor Haskel from the Monetary Policy Committee.
Read more on Professor Jonathan Haskell here.
Missed the online event? Don’t worry, the slides are available for viewing here.
James Hooper is Marketing Assistant at Plus Accounting.
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