The UK will make a "gentle recovery" in the second half of 2012 following a period of potential negative growth at the start of the year, Bank of England chief economist Spencer Dale said on Wednesday.

Dale told Bloomberg in an interview on Wednesday that he expected to see "broadly flat growth," adding that the economy could also be set for "one or two quarters of negative growth".

"For the very large majority of companies and families in our country, what really matters is getting growth up to more normal levels so we can get unemployment coming down again and companies' order books back up to more normal levels," Dale said in the article published on Bloomberg's website.

Dale said he believed inflation would ease sharply in the first half of 2012, but added that should inflation fail to decline it "will have implications for the future path of the monetary policy."

Dale said in a speech on Tuesday that he had reservations over whether quantitative easing would be the right measure to boost the economy if inflation does not fall as fast as the Bank forecasts next year.