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Twenty Years of Inflation Targeting by the Bank of England
This paper does not provide a comprehensive analysis of the development of the IT regime in the UK, something which has been well covered in previous studies. It concentrates primarily on the issue of the appropriate target inflation indicator for an IT central bank. Here the British approach was decidedly innovative. The Bank of England was the first IT central bank not to use the official consumer price series as its target indicator, recognizing that a good inflation measure has somewhat different properties from a good cost-of-living index. More specifically it used the RPIX series (RPI excluding mortgage interest) as its target, rather than the Retail Price Index itself. The principle that an inflation measure should exclude interest rates was later adopted by Eurostat as one of the guiding principles for creating the Harmonised Indexes of Consumer Prices (HICPs), one of which would serve as the inflation indicator for the European Central Bank. Later, the BoE itself would target the UK HICP as its own inflation indicator.
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