One of the Bank of England's two core purposes is monetary stability. Monetary stability means stable prices and confidence in the currency. Stable prices are defined by the Government's inflation target, which the Bank seeks to meet through the decisions taken by the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC).
Monetary policy in the UK usually operates through the price at which money is lent – the interest rate. In March 2009 the MPC announced that in addition to setting Bank Rate, it would start to inject money directly into the economy by purchasing financial assets – often known as quantitative easing.
In August 2013 the MPC provided some explicit guidance regarding the future conduct of monetary policy. The MPC intends at a minimum to maintain the present highly stimulative stance of monetary policy until economic slack has been substantially reduced, provided this does not entail material risks to price stability or financial stability.
Low inflation is not an end in itself. It is however an important factor in helping to encourage long-term stability in the economy with sustainable growth and employment.