He explains that since the mid-1990s UK households have been both purchasing more financial assets and taking on greater amounts of debt. But new borrowing has grown more rapidly, pushing down the personal saving ratio and boosting consumer spending. The inflationary stimulus from rapid consumption growth over the past decade was offset by slack in the labour market in the late 1990s and then by relatively weak growth of investment and exports. But recently some of these factors had become ".less helpful in containing demand and price pressures.".