Category Archives: Inflation

RPI inflation rate looks likely to remain above 3% mark

Our panel of City economists considers that while inflation is unlikely to rise in the short term, it is likely to remain at or above 3% over the coming 18 months. The prospects for inflation are probably best summarised in the Bank of England’s recent Inflation Report, released on 10 May. It said: ‘Conditional on market interest rates, domestic inflationary pressures are projected to build over the forecast period while the contribution from energy and import prices dissipates.’

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Viewpoint: pensions court rules RPI not ‘inappropriate’

The latest instalment in the debate over which inflation indicator is the most appropriate for uprating benefits such as pensions took place in the High Court in January. The case, brought by telecoms firm BT, was that the company should be allowed to change provisions for uprating pension payments from the Retail Prices Index (RPI) to the Consumer Prices Index (CPI), on the basis that the former had ‘become inappropriate’, according to the rules of the scheme. The case has implications for setting pay as well as pensions.

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Inflation predicted to slowly fall during 2018

All of our panel of City economists see RPI inflation peaking in the next month or two and thereafter coming slowly down. Our rounded average of the predictions from seven City forecasting bodies shows the RPI, which is currently at 4% for the year to October, falling to 3.6% in the year to February. The February figure will be released in mid-March and as such will be the extant measure when many companies’ April 2018 pay reviews take place.

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Forecasters think inflation could rise to just below 4% by autumn

Inflation could rise to just below 4% on the all-items RPI measure by the autumn, according to our panel of City economists. Thereafter it could fall, but slowly. This assessment is based on our rounded average of the predictions from eight forecasters. The panel divides evenly between those who see RPI reaching 4% and those who think it is unlikely to rise this far. The main point of difference is based on whether the upward pressure on import prices from sterling’s previous depreciation, following the vote to leave the EU, have mainly worked through, or whether most of these effects remain to be felt. Continue reading Forecasters think inflation could rise to just below 4% by autumn

Assumptions revised about the likely path of inflation

Inflation forecast to rise to 4% by late summer

After the sharp rise in RPI inflation in the year to February, economic forecasters have had to revise their assumptions about the likely path of inflation. Inflation rose to 3.2% in the year to February, up from 2.6% in the year to January. The increases were higher than predicted, and were due to increases in prices for oil and petrol on the one hand, and food on the other. In the case of food prices, increases are mainly caused by the impact of sterling’s depreciation.

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