Barclays' chief economist joins Bank to shore up forecasting

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The Independent Online

Barclay's chief economist, Simon Hayes, has been hired by the Bank of England to head up its forecasting team.

Before joining Barclays in 2005, Mr Hayes worked at Threadndeedle Street for eight years, where he advised the rate-setting Monetary Policy Committee.

The Bank's forecasting team is currently led by Robert Woods, who is on secondment from the Treasury. His posting is due to end in the spring of 2014, when Mr Hayes is expected to take over. He will report to the Bank's chief economist, Spencer Dale.

The Bank's growth and inflation forecasts have been consistently wrong since the 2008-09 financial crisis.

In evidence to the Treasury Select Committee in 2010, Mr Hayes suggested the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), which provides forecasts, should give reasons when its outlook differs from the consensus.

He said this would "allay concerns that the OBR was painting a picture that was deliberately slanted towards the Treasury's liking".