A high-ranking official at the Bank of England has apologised for describing the UK economy as "menopausal", after online comments accused him of "sexism" and "misogyny".

Ben Broadbent is deputy governor for monetary policy at the Bank of England.

He told the Daily Telegraph newspaper that the slowing economy is experiencing a productivity slump not seen since Britain's late Victorian age towards the end of the 19th century.

Broadbent said that during the era, there was a "climacteric" effect where "productivity growth suddenly slowed pretty much to a halt".

He noted that the sharp slowdown was similar in its severity to the one witnessed over the last ten years.

Broadbent explained that the term "climacteric", used by economic historians, essentially means "menopausal, but can apply to both genders" and implies "you've passed your productivity peak".

After criticism on social networks, however, he issued a swift apology over the remarks today. 

"I'm sorry for my poor choice of language in an interview with the Telegraph and regret the offence caused," Broadbent said in a statement released by the central bank.

"Economic productivity is something which affects every one of us, of all ages and genders," he added.