Charlie Bean has said that lower inflation rates in 2012 would not only be good for people seeking a mortgage, but they would also assist consumer spending and an overall revival in the British economy as well as making it easier for people to save up for a deposit or go up a few rungs on the property ladder. He went on to say that a UK mortgage market with less risky “equilibrium” was continuing to emerge. Providers are moving away from the highly generous loan-to-value and loan-to-income ratios of the recent past. Mr Bean made his remarks in a speech to the Council of Mortgage Lenders’ Mortgage Industry Conference & Exhibition in London, where he outlined the Bank’s intentions and motivations for restarting its Quantitative Easing (QE) programme recently. He said that the Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee expects a sharp drop in inflation next year, with a definite fall away from the 5.2 per cent spike in the Consumer Price Index reckoning of inflation seen in September. Nevertheless, he stressed that the UK economy would remain shaky and in need of further monetary stimulus. Otherwise, he argued, “inflation would have been more likely to undershoot rather than overshoot the 2 per cent target in the medium term”. Mr Bean said that the Bank was considering the possibility of handing out a cash voucher to boost Britons’ consumer spending although he acknowledged that at the moment people were more likely to save it than spend it. He also acknowledged the recent public debate on QE and whether its effectiveness could be improved by purchasing something other than state debt.