The Bank of England deputy governor Ben Broadbent has issued an apology for describing the UK economy as “menopausal”.
Broadbent used the word in an interview with the Daily Telegraph to illustrate economies that were "past their peak and no longer so potent".
He later apologised for his “poor choice of language” and added he “regrets 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,” he said. “Economic productivity is something which affects every one of us, of all ages and genders.”
The term ‘climacteric’ is borrowed from biology and is applied to all genders. It means “you’ve passed your productive peak”, he said.
He has, however, faced a backlash.
Secretary of state for energy and clean growth Claire Perry Tweeted in response: “I can’t be the only 50+ woman objecting to Ben Broadbent’s pejorative description of the UK economy as ‘menopausal’.
“I’ve never been more productive! How about ‘andropausal’ instead? Then you get declining potency and bonus grumpiness thrown in!”
Broadbent sits on the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), which has been criticised for having only one female member on its nine-strong board.
He has also been tipped as a potential successor to Mark Carney as governor.