Bank of England focus on design

The Bank of England’s Greater London Agency is collating economic data on the design industry as part of its fact-finding role for economists in the bank.

The agency – one of 12 in a UK network linking business with the bank – has brought in Roy Fleming in an unpaid role to help with the task. An interior designer, Fleming describes himself as “a design broker” and holds a number of honorary positions, including a place on the construction industry board of the London Chamber of Commerce.

Fleming, who deals with GLA deputy agent Roger Beales, is gathering information on the economic statistics of design, from architecture to engineering. Only fashion and textiles are outside his remit, he says.

He is exploring issues such as international trade, profit margins and employment and pay rates.

As yet he has “no idea” how the confidential data will be used, but is keen to see it published.

Beales says it is the first time GLA has focused on design as a specific sector. “We talk to many businesses on behalf of the bank, asking how they are affected by interest rates. It helps us when we feed back into the monetary process.” He says any publication of the data is likely to be in “broad brush” terms.

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