Quantitative easing explained -- Putting more money into our economy to boost spending  

對量化寬鬆措施的說明 – 注入經濟體系更多的貨幣以刺激支出

 

Stable inflation promotes a healthy economy  

穩定的物價膨脹率有助於促進健全的經濟體系

 

Low and stable inflation is crucial to a thriving and prosperous economy. The Bank of England aims to keep inflation at the 2% target set by the Government.  

低且穩定的物價膨脹率是經濟體系繁榮和成長的重要關鍵。英格蘭銀行的方針為,將物價膨脹率維持在政府設定的目標2%。

 

The Bank uses interest rates to control inflation. It sets an interest rate at which it lends to financial institutions -- Bank Rate. That influences many other rates available to savers and borrowers, so movements in Bank Rate affect spending by companies and their customers and, over time, the rate of inflation. Changes in Bank Rate can take up to two years to have their full impact on inflation. So the Bank has to look ahead when deciding on the appropriate monetary policy.  

本行使用利率控制物價膨脹率。它訂定融通資金予金融機構的利率 – 英格蘭銀行融通利率。這項利率影響儲蓄者和借款者適用的其他利率,因此,英格蘭銀行融通利率的變動,會影響企業和它們顧客的支出,而隨著時間經過,影響到物價膨脹率。英格蘭銀行融通利率變動對物價膨脹率的全部影響效果,可能長達二年。因此,本行在決定適當的貨幣政策利率時,必須要有前瞻性。

 

If inflation looks set to rise above target, then the Bank raises rates to slow spending and reduce inflation. Similarly, if inflation looks set to fall below 2%, it reduces Bank Rate to boost spending and inflation.  如果物價膨脹率看起來會上升到目標之上,那麼,本行就調高利率以減緩支出和降低物價膨脹率。同樣地,如果物價膨脹率看起來會跌落到2%之下,本行就調降融通利率以刺激支出和物價膨脹率。

 

Spending in the United Kingdom slowed sharply in late 2008 as the global slowdown gathered pace. So the Bank cut Bank Rate substantially to reduce the risk of inflation falling well below target further ahead.

2008年年尾隨著全球經濟加速減緩,英國的國內支出也大幅減少。因此,本行大幅調降融通利率,以減低物價膨脹率在目標之下仍然繼續滑落的風險。

 

Q. Why is low and stable inflation good?  

問:為什麼低且穩定的物價膨脹率是好的?

 

A. Unstable rates of inflation are costly to households and companies. They make it hard to see how prices of individual goods are changing compared with one another. And uncertainty over future prices makes it more difficult to enter into long-term contracts. Historically, high inflation has tended to be more unstable.

答:不穩定的物價膨脹率會讓家計部門和企業付出昂貴的代價。因為,這樣會使得個別貨物彼此間相對價格的變動方向,難以看清。而未來價格存在不確定性,會使長期交易契約更難達成協議。依照歷史經驗,物價膨脹率高的時候,通常也比較不穩定。

 

Same target -- a new tool  

相同的目標 -- 新的工具

 

When the Bank is concerned about the risks of very low inflation, it cuts Bank Rate -- that is, it reduces the price of central bank money. But interest rates cannot fall below zero. So if they are almost at zero, and there is still a significant risk of very low inflation, the Bank can increase the quantity of money -- in other words, inject money directly into the economy. That process is sometimes known as “quantitative easing”.  

當本行擔心物價膨脹率有降到非常低的風險的時候,就調降融通利率 – 亦即,調降中央銀行貨幣的價格。但利率不能跌到零以下。所以如果利率幾乎等於零,而仍然有物價膨脹率非常低的顯著風險時,本行可以增加貨幣的數量 -- 換句話說,直接對經濟體系注入資金。這個過程有時候被稱為「量化寬鬆措施」。

 

The Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meets each month to discuss economic developments and the outlook for inflation. At that meeting, the MPC votes on Bank Rate. It may also decide whether to inject money directly into the economy, and if so, how much.  

本行的貨幣政策委員會(MPC)每月集會,討論經濟情勢和物價展望。在會議上投票決定英格蘭銀行融通利率。MPC亦得決定是否要直接注入經濟體系資金,若要,數量多少。

 

The MPC makes its decision independently of government.

MPC的決策獨立於政府之外。

 

 

Q. What is the MPC?  

問:什麼是MPC?

A. It is a committee of nine experts that meets every month at the Bank. It discusses the economy and decides how to set monetary policy to achieve the 2% inflation target.  

答:MPC是由九位專家組成的委員會,每月在英格蘭銀行集會,討論經濟情勢和決定如何訂定貨幣政策以達成2%的物價膨脹率目標。

 

Supplying more money -- why it is needed  

供應較多的貨幣 --為什麼有必要

 

Money in a modern economy comprises both cash and bank deposits. Normally, the amount of money grows each year. In the past, there have been periods when money has expanded too rapidly. Too much money circulating in the economy eventually resulted in too much inflation.  

現代的經濟體系,貨幣包含現金和銀行存款兩者。正常情況下,貨幣數量每年成長。過去有些期間,貨幣擴張過度快速,太多的貨幣在經濟體系流通,最後導致過高的物價膨脹率。

 

But if the economy weakens sharply, as it did in the final months of 2008, the problem is different. There is a risk of too little money circulating, not too much.  

但如果經濟急劇減弱,如同在2008年最後幾個月一樣,則問題不同。有太少貨幣在流通的風險,而不是太多。

 

The money supply needs to keep growing at a steady rate to keep pace with the expansion of the economy, and to ensure inflation remains close to the Government’s 2% target.  

貨幣供給必須保持以穩定的比率成長,以配合經濟的擴張,和確保物價膨脹率保持在2%的政府目標附近。

 

Supplying more money -- how it happens  

供應較多的貨幣 -- 它如何發生

 

The MPC’s decision to inject money directly into the economy does not involve printing more banknotes. Instead, the Bank buys assets from private sector institutions -- that could be insurance companies, pension funds, banks or non-financial firms -- and credits the seller’s bank account. So the seller has more money in their bank account, while their bank holds a corresponding claim against the Bank of England (known as reserves). The end result is more money out in the wider economy.  

MPC決定直接對經濟體系注入資金,不涉及印製更多的鈔票。而是由本行自民間部門機構買進資產 -- 這些機構可能是保險公司、退休金基金、銀行、或非金融機構 – 並且將資金存入賣方的往來銀行帳戶。因此,賣方在他們的往來銀行帳戶有較多的貨幣,而他們的往來銀行相對在英格蘭銀行持有等額的請求權(稱為準備金)。結果,有較多的貨幣流入經濟體系。

 

The MPC can opt to buy a variety of assets. For example, in March 2009, it decided to buy two types of asset -- UK government bonds (known as gilts) and high-quality debt issued by private companies. Making the majority of purchases in gilts allows the Bank to increase the quantity of money in the economy rapidly. Targeted purchases of private sector assets should make it easier and cheaper for companies to raise finance by improving conditions in corporate credit markets.  

MPC能選擇買入的資產有很多種。舉例來說,在2009年3月它決定買入兩類資產 -- 英國政府債券(稱為gilts)和民間企業發行的高品質債券。買進者若大多數為政府債券,則能讓英格蘭銀行快速地增加經濟體系的貨幣數量。選擇性地購買民間部門資產,則有助於改善企業融資市場,使企業取得融資更容易且更便宜。

 

This twin-track approach means spending may be boosted in a variety of ways.

這種雙軌方法,意謂刺激支出得有多種途徑。

 

Supplying more money -- how it works

供應較多的貨幣 -- 如何運作

 

Direct injections of money into the economy, primarily by buying gilts, can have a number of effects. The sellers of the assets have more money so may go out and spend it. That will help to boost growth. Or they may buy other assets instead, such as shares or company bonds. That will push up the prices of those assets, making the people who own them, either directly or through their pension funds, better off. So they may go out and spend more. And higher asset prices mean lower yields, which brings down the cost of borrowing for businesses and households. That should provide a further boost to spending.

對經濟體系直接注入資金(主要透過購買政府債券),能產生多種效果。資產的賣方擁有較多的貨幣,如此能到外面支用這些貨幣。這樣會有助於促進經濟成長。他們也可以改為購買其他的資產,例如,股票或公司債。這樣會推升這些資產的價格,使擁有這些資產的人(直接或透過他們的退休基金)比較好過。因此,他們得以到外面花更多的錢。而且,比較高的資產價格意味比較低的殖利率,這會壓低企業和家計部門的借款成本,應該會對總體支出提供進一步的刺激。

 

In addition, banks will find themselves holding more reserves. That might lead them to boost their lending to consumers and businesses. So, once again, borrowing increases and so does spending. That said, if banks are concerned about their financial health, they may prefer to hold the extra reserves without expanding lending. For this reason, the Bank of England is buying most of the assets from the wider economy rather than the banks.  

除此之外,銀行將會發現他們持有較多的準備金。那可能引導他們增加對消費者和企業的放款。如此,再度會讓借款增加,總體支出也一樣會增加。話雖如此,如果銀行擔憂他們的財務健全性,他們可能寧願持有額外的準備金而不擴張放款。基於這個理由,英格蘭銀行現在買入的資產,大部份從比較寬廣的經濟體系,而非銀行。

 

The extra money has worked its way through the economy, resulting in higher spending and therefore growth.  

額外的貨幣,已經透過經濟體系產生作用,帶來比較高的總體支出水準,以及經濟成長。

 

Normally, central banks do not intervene in private sector asset markets by buying or selling private sector debt. But in exceptional circumstances, such intervention may be warranted -- for example, when corporate credit markets became blocked as the financial crisis intensified towards the end of 2008. Bank of England purchases of private sector debt can help to unblock corporate credit markets, by reassuring market participants that there is a ready buyer should they wish to sell. That should help bring down the cost of borrowing, making it easier and cheaper for companies to raise finance which they can then invest in their business.  

正常情況下,中央銀行不會藉由買入或賣出民間部門債券去干預民間部門的資產市場。但在例外狀況下,這類的干預可能有其必要性 – 例如,在2008年底,隨著金融危機愈演愈烈,企業授信市場出現障礙。英格蘭銀行藉由購買民間部門債券,向市場參加者再次確保,萬一他們想要賣出時,有一個隨時準備好的買主,此有助於打通企業授信市場,壓低借款成本,使企業籌資更容易且更便宜,從而,讓他們得以從事業務投資。

 

More generally, the Bank of England’s purchases of both government and corporate bonds also increase the total demand for those types of assets, pushing up their prices. This is another way in which the Bank’s actions will make it cheaper for companies to raise finance.

更普遍的情況是,英格蘭銀行同時購買政府和企業債券,會增加這類資產的總需求,推升它們的價格。此為英格蘭銀行措施使企業籌資成本更便宜的另外一條途徑。

 

Monitoring -- what to watch  

監控 -- 該看什麼

 

How will we know if the asset purchases are working? The MPC can monitor what sellers of assets are doing with the money they receive and what effect that is having on spending and inflation. A critical issue will be the impact on the terms and conditions offered on loans -- is it cheaper and easier for companies and households to borrow than it would otherwise have been? Are corporate debt markets functioning better, making it easier for companies to borrow direct from the market? The MPC can monitor a range of asset prices and can also draw upon information gathered by its network of regional Agents and from financial market participants to assess whether credit is indeed becoming cheaper and more widely available.  

我們如何知道資產購買措施有否發揮效果?MPC可以監控資產的賣方如何使用他們所收到的資金,以及對總體支出和物價膨脹率帶來甚麼樣的效果。一個關鍵問題將是對放款條件產生的影響 – 企業和家計部門借錢有否因此變得更便宜和更容易?公司債市場有否運作得比較好,使企業更容易直接從市場借到資金?MPC監控一系列的資產價格,也能從它的駐區代表聯絡網和從金融市場參加者蒐集資訊,以評估融資成本有否真的變得比較便宜,有否更容易取得。

 

But borrowing costs are not the only measure of success. The MPC will continue to monitor flows of money and credit across the economy including bank lending. Ultimately, what matters is the degree to which the cash injection boosts the growth of money and spending by households and businesses and so helps to ensure that inflation is close to target.  

但是,借款成本不是衡量成敗的唯一標準。MPC將會繼續監控整體經濟體系貨幣和融資的流通情形,包括銀行放款。終究而言,重要的是,注入的資金對貨幣數量成長,以及家計部門和企業支出的影響程度。因為,這樣才有助於確保物價膨脹率接近目標水準。

 

Q. How will you know if quantitative easing is working?  

問:如何知道量化寬鬆措施有否發揮作用?

 

A. Transparency is key to the success of monetary policy.  

A. 透明化是貨幣政策成功的關鍵。

 

l         Every month the MPC announces its decision and publishes details of its discussions.  

l         每個月MPC宣佈它的決定,並且發表它的討論細節。

 

l         Every three months it publishes an Inflation Report that provides a more detailed assessment.  

l         每隔三月它發表一份「物價情勢報告」,提供更詳細評估。

 

l         The Bank regularly publishes statistics on money supply growth and bank lending. The amount of assets bought under the programme is also disclosed.  

l         英格蘭銀行定期發表貨幣供給成長和銀行放款的統計。依照方案購買的資產數量也對外公開。

 

When to stop and how  

何時和如何停止

 

The Bank of England is committed to low and stable inflation. Together, large cuts in Bank Rate and quantitative easing provide the economy with a substantial boost, and reduce the risks of inflation falling below the 2% target. But the Bank will not let inflation get out of control. Just as the Bank takes the steps necessary to contain the risks of below-target inflation, it also acts if it thinks inflation looks set to rise above 2%. In that case, the MPC could put downward pressure on spending and inflation by raising Bank Rate and removing the extra money by selling the assets it previously purchased.

英格蘭銀行致力於維持低且穩定的物價膨脹率。大幅調降英格蘭銀行融通利率,加上量化寬鬆措施,提供經濟體系相當大的刺激,減少物價膨脹率跌落2%目標的風險。但是,英格蘭銀行不會讓物價膨脹率失控。正如本行採取必要措施以控管物價膨脹率跌落目標的風險,如果它認為物價膨脹率會上升到2%之上,在那種情況下,MPC可以調高英格蘭銀行融通利率`,以及出售其先前購買的資產俾除去過多的貨幣,以壓低總體支出和物價膨脹率。

 

Economic conditions can and do shift rapidly. The job of the MPC is to navigate through these changes and to take the steps necessary to keep inflation as close to the 2% target as practical. By delivering low and stable inflation, the Bank of England will play its part in fostering the climate of stability that is essential to the UK economy.  

經濟情況可能且確實變化快速。MPC的工作就是要領航渡過這些變化,並採取必要措施以儘可能務實地使物價膨脹率接近2%的目標。藉由維持低且穩定的物價膨脹率,英格蘭銀行就是盡到責任,促進對英國經濟必要的穩定環境。