ILO be damned?

The latest data highlighted a diverging trend between the two main measures of unemployment. Neither measure is perfect, but at least the claimant count is timelier than the ILO measure. Until the ILO measure catches up, we are putting more weight on the former as a guide to the unemployment fallout so far.
Ruth Gregory Senior UK Economist
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UK Economics Weekly

Inflation fears, Euro 2020 hopes

The mounting evidence that price pressures are rising is a threat to our forecast that CPI inflation won’t spend a long time above the 2% target until late in 2023. The good news, though, is that if inflation were more important than goals in the Euro 2020 football tournament, then at least one of England or Scotland would make it into the knockout stages.

11 June 2021

UK Data Response

GDP & International Trade (Apr.)

The jump in GDP in April was another sign that consumers are raring to spend as the economy reopens. And all the early indicators suggest that GDP growth was strong in May as well. As such, our forecast of the economy regaining its pre-pandemic level by the autumn is on track.

11 June 2021

UK Economics Chart Book

Inflation risks rising

The risks to our forecast that CPI inflation will rise from 1.5% in April to a peak of 2.6% in November before dropping back in 2022 are increasingly on the upside. Rises in shipping costs and global agricultural commodity prices as well as shortages of semiconductors and labour could all conspire to push CPI inflation higher this year and keep it above 2% next year. At the moment, though, we think that the lingering effects of last year’s collapse in output will prompt many firms to absorb the bulk of higher costs in their margins and to limit pay rather than pass them on to consumers via much higher prices. This “spare capacity” effect explains why we think core inflation will stay below 2% until late in 2023.

10 June 2021

More from Ruth Gregory

UK Data Response

Public Finances (Apr.)

April’s public finances figures showed that the government’s financial position isn’t as bad as the Office for Budget Responsibility predicted only two months ago, reinforcing our view that the tax hikes and spending cuts that most fear may be avoided.

25 May 2021

UK Data Response

Consumer Prices (Apr.)

The jump in CPI inflation from 0.7% in March to 1.5% in April (consensus forecast 1.4%) was almost entirely driven by energy price effects, which will only be temporary. We doubt a sustained increase in inflation that would concern the Bank of England will happen until late in 2023.

19 May 2021

UK Data Response

GDP & International Trade (Mar. & Q1)

The burst of growth in March shows that the recovery has been gathering momentum more quickly than we had thought and suggests that the risks to our forecast for the economy to return to its February 2020 level by the end of 2021 are to the upside.

12 May 2021
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