The UK’s economic recovery is unlikely to be export driven as its biggest trading partner is “dead in the water”, a Bank of England policymaker has said.
In a rare interview by a Monetary Policy Committee member, David Miles told the BBC it was “pretty difficult” to see UK exports growing because of economic problems in the eurozone.
But he said the UK’s recovery was no longer being led by consumer spending.
Earlier official figures showed eurozone GDP was flat.
Professor Miles told Radio 5 Live’s Wake up to Money, UK export growth had been “pretty disappointing” over the last two or three years.
He said the “single biggest factor” behind the lack of export growth had been that demand in the eurozone had been close to zero during that time.
Professor Miles added: “So our single biggest export market has been, I’m tempted to say, dead in the water. It hasn’t been growing at all. And it’s pretty difficult in that environment to see exports growing very strongly. So the recovery, very welcome as it is, has been a bit dependant on consumer spending.”
The Bank policymaker’s comments highlight the difficulties the government faces in its attempts to re-balance the economy and boost exports.