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Could you explain the difference between narrow and broad money?

Relevant Topics

This question pertains to topics in Microeconomics, such as Monetary Policy, Money Supply


Narrow Money (M1): Narrow money refers to the most liquid forms of money, typically including currency in circulation and demand deposits, such as current accounts.

Broad Money (M2, M3, M4): Broad money includes narrow money and additional less liquid assets, such as savings accounts, money market funds, and possibly other short-term investment vehicles.

Detailed Explanation:

Narrow Money: It represents the most readily available forms of money for spending. It includes physical currency like coins and banknotes, along with balances that can be quickly converted into cash, such as current account balances.

Broad Money: This is a wider classification of money, including not just what is held in physical form but also various types of accounts that can be easily converted into cash. Broad money includes all components of narrow money, plus additional assets like savings accounts, time deposits, and sometimes marketable securities.


Liquidity: Narrow money is more liquid, as it can be readily used for transactions, while broad money includes some less liquid assets.

Components: Narrow money typically includes only the most accessible forms of money, while broad money includes a wider range of financial assets.

Use in Economic Analysis: Narrow money is often used to analyse transactions and short-term economic activity, while broad money may be more relevant in understanding long-term economic growth and stability.


United Kingdom:Narrow Money (M0/M1): In the UK, narrow money includes currency in circulation and reserves held by banks at the central bank.Broad Money (M4): Includes currency, current accounts, and various other deposits, representing a broader view of money supply.
: As of February 2021, the UK M4 money supply was approximately £2.81 trillion.

United States:Narrow Money (M1):
Consists of currency in circulation, demand deposits, and other checkable deposits.Broad Money (M2): Adds savings deposits, money market mutual funds, and other time deposits to M1.
: As of February 2021, the US M2 money supply was approximately $19.41 trillion.


Narrow money (M1) refers to highly liquid assets, such as physical currency and demand deposits, whereas broad money (M2, M3, M4) includes those liquid assets plus other less liquid financial assets like savings accounts and money market funds. The distinction between narrow and broad money is significant for economists and policymakers to understand and manage the overall money supply within an economy. The examples of the UK and the US illustrate these concepts in practice, showing the specific composition and scale of narrow and broad money in these countries.

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