A BANK of England boss has apologised for his ‘poor choice of language’ after suffering a backlash for describing the economy as ‘menopausal’.
Deputy governor Ben Broadbent (pictured) — who is tipped as a successor to governor Mark Carney next year — was accused of sexism after using the term in an interview with The Telegraph to describe the slowdown and slump in productivity. He said: ‘I’m sorry for my poor choice of language in an interview 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 19th century. Economic productivity is something which affects every one of us, of all ages and genders.’
The interview saw him suggest the economy was entering a ‘menopausal’ era after a peak in productivity from the digital revolution.
Mr Broadbent indicated that a ‘pause’ between two technological leaps, similar to one experienced by late-Victorian industrialists from steam to electricity, could be behind the slump. It caused a raft of angry tweets and comes as an embarrassment to the Bank, which is already under fire after revealing a 25 per cent pay gap between its male and female employees.
Twitter user Pamela Wales called Mr Broadbent’s remark ‘outrageous and insulting’, while Jonathan Riley said: ‘Perhaps reference to flabby, flacid, balding men who have lost their potency might have been more appropriate?’
Mr Broadbent’s comments come after figures showed productivity fell 0.5 per cent and growth has slowed down to 0.1 per cent in the first quarter.