Monetary Policy

Treasury written question – answered on 23rd November 2010.

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Photo of Steven Baker Steven Baker Conservative, Wycombe

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent assessment he has made of the effects of (a) quantitative easing and (b) credit expansion in excess of real savings on the structure of (i) relative prices and (ii) macroeconomic aggregates.

Photo of Mark Hoban Mark Hoban The Financial Secretary to the Treasury

The independent Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Bank of England has operational responsibility for monetary policy. The MPC decides on use of measures, including the asset purchase facility (APF), in order to target 2% inflation, as measured by the 12-month change in the consumer prices index (CPI).

Assessments of quantitative easing can be found in the Bank of England quarterly inflation reports. In particular, the May 2009 inflation report explains how quantitative easing works to impact the economy through various channels including higher money supply, lower long-term interest rates and rising asset prices. An assessment of the impact on asset prices, in particular on the gilt market, is made in the May 2010 inflation report which says:

"asset purchases appear to be having a sizeable downward effect on gilt yields...equity and corporate bond prices have increased significantly since early 2009. That is likely, in part, to reflect the exceptional monetary stimulus".

The Government have announced the interim Financial Policy Committee (FPC) at the Bank of England will be created this autumn. It will be responsible for looking at risks across the financial system as a whole and how financial markets interact with the wider economy. The Bank of England half-yearly financial stability reports will continue to capture such analysis.

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