Inflation over 300 years

Quarterly Bulletin 1994 Q2
Published on 01 June 1994

By Helen MacFarlane and Paul Mortimer-Lee of the Bank’s Economics Division.

In recent years, there has been a widening acceptance of the view that the primary purpose of monetary policy should be to maintain price stability, and the primary purpose of central banks should be to secure this. But what has been the history of UK inflation over the first 300 years of the Bank’s existence? How has thinking about inflation developed over that period? And how has the workforce of the Old Lady herself withstood the inflationary ravages of time?

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