The Bank of England has used its quarterly bulletin to vigorously defend its use of quantitative easing (QE) to bolster the UK economy.
It said that without the £375bn asset buying programme "economic growth would have been lower and unemployment higher".
The programme also helped bolster asset prices and in particular the stock market, which faced devastating falls following the financial crisis, the Bank said.
Controversially, the Bank added that in its view QE had a "broadly neutral impact" on pensioners and those looking to purchase an annuity. This assertion flies in the face of widespread criticism that QE has hurt savers and pensioners in particular
Ros Altmann, the director general of Saga, said: "The BoE may say QE doesn't hurt, but what their theories fail to take account of is that it creates inflation and this devastates the incomes of pensioners who rely on annuities and savings."