One of the UK's top monetary policymakers has indicated he has changed his mind after a series of negative business surveys and now favours an immediate stimulus for the UK economy.
The new stance of Martin Weale, an independent member of the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee, all but guarantees that the central bank will announce a package of stimulus measures to fight a post-referendum downturn at its August 4 meeting. One of the nine committee members voted last month to cut rates and three have now said they are minded to do so.
In an interview with the Financial Times, Mr Weale also made it clear monetary policy would not boost the economy straight away, so any action would not save the UK from a recession if growth is beginning to shrink.
Only a week ago, Mr Weale gave a speech urging the BoE to wait "for firmer evidence" before cutting rates or expanding its quantitative easing programme to encourage spending.
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But last week's weaker data has made him more inclined to act. Although a BoE survey did not show an immediate weakening in the economic outlook, he said he was concerned by pre-referendum data on wage growth, which was weaker than he had expected.
The clinching piece of evidence, he said, was the purchasing managers' indices on Friday, which showed business activity dropping to its lowest level since spring 2009.
"They are the best short-term indicator we have at the moment. I certainly feel they are very material for the decision we'll be taking next week," he told the FT, adding that they were "a lot worse than I had thought" and showed "expectations have worsened sharply".
"I see things rather differently from what I would have done had we not had those numbers and the material point is that they were collected after July 12, so after the initial shock of the referendum," Mr Weale said.
"What I said last week is that I would like more information as well as more reflection and I have had more information. Although you can't say there's a clear signal, if you spend all the time waiting for a clear signal, it never comes."