The figures don’t in themselves prove that QE has been unsuccessful. It is impossible to know the counterfactual. There is every chance the recession would have been far more painful and stubborn had the Bank not taken this action. Moreover, QE helped push sterling lower (which in turn has helped exports and manufacturing) and may have pushed more investors into equity prices, which have staged a remarkable rally in recent months.
But the fact that we have not yet had solid evidence of QE’s success in the money numbers leads me to suspect that the Bank will not want to call a halt to this one yet. Most economists agree that one of the biggest mistakes the Bank of Japan made in the 1990s was to halt its initial experiment with QE too early.