LONDON — Bank of England deputy governor Ben Broadbent has been forced to apologise after describing the UK economy as "menopausal."
The deputy governor, who sits on the committee that sets UK interest rates, told the Telegraph in an interview that financial experts used the "menopausal" metaphor for economies that were "past their peak and no longer so potent."
Ben Broadbent said Britain's current low productivity growth resembled the end of the 19th century when the age of steam had passed its peak but the new era of electricity was yet to begin.
British productivity "slowed pretty much to a halt" around the end of the 19th century after peaking, as it entered a "climacteric" period, Broadbent said. The word "climacteric" is a term borrowed from biology meaning "you've passed your productive peak," he said.Advertisement
"It has the same Latin roots as 'climax' and means 'menopausal' but it applies to both genders," Broadbent said.
The country could be going through a similar period now as Internet-driven growth slows and new revolutionary technologies like Artificial Intelligence are yet take off, Broadbent said.
His choice of words drew criticism from many readers on Twitter. ITV's political editor tweeted: "Sloppy, empirically unsound and potentially offensive use of language by Bank of England deputy governor."
The Bank of England issued a follow-up statement from Broadbent on Wednesday morning in response. It read:
"I'm sorry for my poor choice of language in an interview with the Telegraph yesterday and regret the offence caused. I was explaining the meaning of the word "climacteric", a term used by economic historians to describe a period of low productivity growth during the nineteenth century. Economic productivity is something which affects every one of us, of all ages and genders."Advertisement
Source : http://www.businessinsider.com/bank-of-england-ben-broadbent-apologises-uk-economy-menopausal-2018-5