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Home > News and Publications > Inflation and Historical

Inflation and Historical

2010 Q4
The UK recession in context — what do three centuries of data tell us? (178KB)
By Sally Hills and Ryland Thomas, and Nicholas Dimsdale of The Queen's College, Oxford.
The Quarterly Bulletin has a long tradition of using historical data to help analyse the latest developments in the UK economy. To mark the Bulletin's 50th anniversary, this article places the recent UK recession in a long-run historical context. It draws on the extensive literature on UK economic history and analyses a wide range of macroeconomic and financial data going back to the 18th century. The UK economy has undergone major structural change over this period but such historical comparisons can provide lessons for the current economic situation.
Three centuries dataset

2009 Q1
Deflation (353KB)
By Charlotta Groth and Peter Westaway.
This article provides a brief review of issues relating to deflation. It explains what is meant by deflation, examines the historical experience and investigates what costs might be associated with deflationary episodes. It suggests that the adverse effects of deflation can be exaggerated by confusing the effects of the underlying shock with the effects of deflation per se. The costs of deflation itself are most likely to be associated with debt deflation and downward rigidities in money wages. By learning from previous episodes, it argues that deflationary episodes can be short-lived and less costly if policy responds promptly and decisively, employing the full range of conventional and unconventional monetary policy instruments.

2007 Q2
Public attitudes to inflation and interest rates (773KB)
By Ronnie Driver and Richard Windram.
Since 2001, the Bank of England has published an annual article discussing the results from the survey of public attitudes to inflation carried out by GfK NOP on behalf of the Bank. This article analyses the results of surveys up to February 2007. Given the relevance of inflation expectations to the current inflation outlook, this year's article focuses on the pickup in the general public's inflation expectations between 2005 and 2006, and the factors that may have contributed to that rise. It also considers the interactions with the public's attitudes to interest rates. Responses to other questions in the survey are discussed in the annex.

Autumn 2005
Long-run evidence on money growth and inflation (675KB)
By Luca Benati
We investigate the correlation between inflation and the rates of growth of narrow and broad money in the United Kingdom since the 19th century. Empirical evidence points towards a remarkable stability across monetary regimes in the correlation for longer-run trends in the data, but some instability in the short to medium term. Additional evidence from the United States confirms the overall stability of the correlation for the longer-run trends.

Summer 2005
The inflation-targeting framework from an historical perspective (583KB)
By Luca Benati
This article provides an historical perspective on the post-1992 inflation-targeting regime in the United Kingdom. It assesses nearly 400 years of UK economic history. The main findings are that the inflation-targeting regime has been characterised by the most stable macroeconomic environment in recorded UK history. There has been a significant improvement in the stability of the Phillips inflation-unemployment correlation during the post-1992 period. And inflation persistence in the United Kingdom has been the exception, not the rule.

Spring 2005
Why has inflation been so low since 1999? (113KB)
Speech by Stephen Nickell, presented at a meeting of the Bank of England regional Agents

This paper explains why CPI goods prices have been falling in the United Kingdom since mid-1999. From 1999 to early 2001, the main factor was a squeeze on margins in the distribution sector. Since then, falling import prices have played a key role along with strong distribution sector productivity growth.

Autumn 2003
Public expectations of UK inflation (92KB)
By Clare Lombardelli and Jumana Saleheen

This article illustrates how inflation expectations of the general public vary according to individuals' different circumstances, and tries to explain how these differences might occur.

Winter 2002
What do measures of core inflation really tell us? (102KB)
By Alan Mankikar and Jo Paisley

Offers an overview of some of the issues. It examines how core inflation has been defined, sets out to what extent the concept might be useful for policy-makers and assesses the wide range of available measures in the United Kingdom.

Autumn 2001
Public attitudes about inflation: a comparative analysis (105KB)
By Kenneth Scheve

Analyses public opinion in advanced economies to assess what individuals think about inflation. Finds significant variation across countries and over time.

August 1998
Three views of macroeconomics (26KB)
Speech by Sir Alan Budd

In this speech, Sir Alan Budd reviews the changing approaches to macroeconomic policy shown by three Budgets that occurred at similar stages in the economic cycle. He concludes that this analysis provides an illustration based on experience of the need for robust policy rules.

August 1997
Reforms to the UK monetary policy framework and financial services regulation (15KB)
Speech by the Governor at the Lord Mayor's Dinner for Bankers and Merchants of the City of London

Welcomes the Chancellor's decision to give the Bank operational responsibility for delivering price stability as defined by the Government's inflation target. Also discusses reform of financial services regulation.

February 1995
The costs of inflation (59KB)
By Clive Briault

Surveys the academic literature on the costs of inflation. Also briefly reviews the emerging literature on the costs of reducing inflation, which suggests that the short-term trade-off between unemployment and inflation is more pronounced in countries with low inflation.

August 1994
The prospects for monetary stability (11KB)
Speech by the Governor at the Lord Mayor's banquet

Argues that the current monetary policy framework provides the best chance in 30 years of achieving price stability in the medium term.

May 1994
Inflation over 300 years (351KB)
By Helen MacFarlane and Paul Mortimer-Lee

How has thinking on inflation developed over past 300 years? And how has Bank withstood inflationary 'ravages of time'?