FRB: Speech, Ferguson--Monetary Credibility, Inflation, and Economic Growth--November 3, 2005:
"By now it must be universally agreed that low and stable inflation is a primary and essential goal for monetary policy, in large part because we believe it brings stability to financial systems and fosters sustainable economic growth over the longer run. In pursuit of this goal, central banks can report some success. According to the latest World Economic Outlook from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), consumer price inflation in the advanced economies over the decade beginning in 1997 and ending next year looks set to come in at an average annual rate of less than 2 percent, down from 3-1/2 percent for the previous ten years. The IMF figures for the United States show a smaller but still substantial decline in headline inflation, from about 3-3/4 percent to 2-1/2 percent. The drop in inflation for the non-industrial economies has been more striking, with average inflation falling from double to single digits over the same time periods"