Andrew Bailey: The cost of living

Speech by Mr Andrew Bailey, Governor of the Bank of England, at Brunswick Group's Cost of Living Conference, London, 1 March 2023.

The views expressed in this speech are those of the speaker and not the view of the BIS.

Central bank speech  | 
01 March 2023

The latest release of data for the UK consumer price index showed an annual increase of 10.1% in January. It is down from a peak of 11.1% in October, not least because direct effects from energy prices have eased. But also, core inflation, which excludes the most volatile components of the consumer price index, fell more than expected to 5.8% in January.

The Bank's Monetary Policy Committee spends a lot of time poring over these data. Consumer price inflation remains much too high, and it is our job to bring it back down to our 2% target. That is why we have increased Bank Rate by nearly 4 percentage points over the past 15 months. To set the appropriate level of Bank Rate over the months ahead, we have to monitor our progress towards our target very carefully.

But the data can only tell us so much. At times like these, more than ever, it is important to hear the human stories behind the data. These stories help us understand both what is actually going on and the impact it has on people's lives. The MPC's inflation target sits within the Bank's wider mission – set out in our founding charter from 1694 – to promote the good of the people of the United Kingdom. These are not just words from an old charter. It is the heart and soul of what we do.