The Bank of England's chief economist has said it may have to cut interest rates in order to tackle low inflation.

The UK has witnessed low inflation for much of 2015, and the Bank may need to go ahead all expectations of raising interest rates to help inflation nearer to its target of 2%.

Bank of England chief economist Andy Haldane said that inflation may not pick up until the second half of 2016, and the risk of fallout of emerging economies could result in a rate cut being a viable option.

Interest rates have been at 0.5% for more than six years as a result of the financial crisis.

"The balance of risks to UK growth, and to UK inflation at the two-year horizon, is skewed squarely and significantly to the downside," Mr Haldane said.

The economist said that a decision on raising interest rates was "some way from being made".

"Were the downside risks I have discussed to materialise, there could be a need to loosen rather than tighten the monetary reins as a next step to support UK growth and return inflation to target," he said.