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Former Deputy Governor of the Bank of England examines challenges facing the economy at Leeds Beckett talk


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The risks and opportunities for the UK economy were examined at a free public talk at Leeds Beckett University by the Bank of England’s former Deputy Governor for Monetary Policy.

Former Deputy Governor of the Bank of England examines challenges facing the economy at Leeds Beckett talk

Sir Charles Bean, Professor of Economics at the London School of Economics (LSE), presented his talk on Monday 16 October at the Rose Bowl.

Professor Sir Charles Bean’s talk examined the outlook and challenges facing the British economy, against a background of sustained slow growth in living standards since the financial crisis and the uncertainties associated with Brexit.

Charles Bean

Professor Sir Charles Bean said: “In my lecture, I discussed how the UK economy has fared since the vote a year ago to leave the EU. In many ways, it has held up better than expected although the longer term economic impact of leaving the EU remains as uncertain today as it was at the time of the referendum. But in any case, Brexit is by no means the most important economic challenge facing the UK. Productivity growth has been unusually weak for the past decade, for reasons we do not fully understand. And without a resurgence in productivity growth, living standards will necessarily continue to stagnate.”

Sir Charles is one of the nation's pre-eminent economists. As well as teaching at LSE, he is a member of the Budget Responsibility Committee of the Office for Budget Responsibility, overseeing the production of the UK's official economic forecasts. He recently conducted an independent review into the production of UK economic statistics, with a particular focus on the impact of the digital economy. He is also Chairman of the Centre for Economic Policy Research and a past President of the Royal Economic Society.

George Lodorfos, David Lowen, Charles Bean, Peter Slee
Professor George Lodorfos, Chair of the Board of Governors David Lowen, Professor Sir Charles Bean, and Vice Chancellor Professor Peter Slee

David Lowen, Chair of the Leeds Beckett University Board of Governors, said: “Sir Charles has been for more than 20 years – and still is - a key man in UK finance and government, as well as being a Professor at the London School of Economics and top class lecturer. His current role leading the Office of Budget Responsibility is crucial in determining the Government’s room for manoeuvre in Brexit and in the coming budget.

“That Sir Charles should take time to come to Leeds Beckett and speak to students, staff and guests of the Business School under such pressure is indicative of his generosity and also of our determination to offer the highest quality opportunities for learning and debate at Leeds Beckett. In his presentation, Sir Charles argued persuasively that the future prosperity of the UK depends more on how it tackles its poor growth in productivity than how it copes with the terms of Brexit.”

Professor George Lodorfos, Dean of Leeds Business School at Leeds Beckett, said: “We were privileged to host a guest lecture by Professor Sir Charles Bean, former Deputy Governor of the Bank of England. The current economic era in the UK is coming to an end and; over the next decades, the economy is going to change significantly. Therefore, Professor Sir Charles Bean’s lecture on the ‘Risks and opportunities for the UK Economy’ was timely and triggered a lot of debate.”

Charles Bean

From 2000 to 2014, Sir Charles served at the Bank of England, firstly as Chief Economist and, from 2008, as Deputy Governor for Monetary Policy and a member of the Monetary Policy and Financial Policy Committees. Before joining the Bank, he taught at LSE for 18 years and he is now Professor of Economics at LSE, where he teaches Monetary Economics and researches macroeconomics and monetary policy. He regularly contributes to academic and industry forums and, in recent months, he has been quoted widely in the press on the economic implications of Brexit. In 2014, he was knighted for services to monetary policy and central banking.

In addition to Professor Sir Charles Bean’s guest talk, Leeds Business School at Leeds Beckett is running a series of short courses in finance in association with London Stock Exchange Group Academy.

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