Wednesday, July 22, 2009
No clear signal on quantitative easing
Posted by David Smith at 10:00 AM
Category: Thoughts and responses

Many in the markets think that the Bank of England's programme of quantitative easing has come to an end, while others believe there is further to go. The monetary policy committee's July minutes, for the meeting in which it decided to leave the QE target unchanged at 125 billion, failed to clarify things either way. On balance, though, the Bank was more upbeat on economic activity and also believed near-term inflation would be slightly higher than it expected, both of which argue for caution on further QE.

The decision to delay any decision on additional QE until the August meeting was unanimous, as it appears was the discussion. The minutes made this interesting point: It was important to recognise that the degree of monetary stimulus associated with the asset purchase programme was determined by the stock of the assets purchased rather than by the flow of purchases. Decisions on the appropriate degree of monetary stimulus would depend on the outlook for nominal
demand and inflation." The minutes are here.