Monetary Policy

Ways and Means – in the House of Commons at 3:34 pm on 17th March 1987.

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For their part, the Government will keep in place a sound and prudent financial framework. That means, as it has done since 1980, the medium-term financial strategy. The central objective of the MTFS is gradually to reduce the growth of money GDP over the medium term so as to squeeze inflation out of the system and ultimately to achieve price stability. This requires monetary discipline buttressed by low public sector borrowing. The essential instrument of monetary policy must remain short-term interest rates. These will continue to be set in the light of monetary conditions as indicated principally by the growth of narrow and broad money and the behaviour of the exchange rate.
For narrow money, MO, the target range for next year will be 2 to 6 per cent. as foreshadowed in last year's MTFS. For broad money, however, as the Governor of the Bank of England cogently argued in his Loughborough lecture last October, it is probably wiser in current circumstances to eschew an explicit target altogether. But broad money will continue to be taken into account in assessing monetary conditions, as of course will the exchange rate.