Headline inflation has increased markedly across both advanced and emerging market (EM) economies this year ending up much higher than we forecast six months ago. Consumer price inflation is expected to remain elevated until at least the second quarter of 2022 as ongoing supply chain disruptions, higher energy prices, and stronger-than-expected demand in countries such as the US provide additional impetus to already buoyant goods prices. Nowhere is this clearer than in Brazil, where annual inflation rose to 10.67 per cent in October, the highest rate since January 2016.
In October 2021, the US 12-month CPI inflation rate reached its highest level in the US since 1990, 6.2 per cent year-on-year. Pent-up demand and higher energy prices have been a major factor in the increase but supply chain shortages and increases in other commodity prices also explain more recent increases (see Sanchez Juanino, Macchiarelli and Naisbitt, 2021).
CPI Inflation rose to 4.2% from the previous months 3.1%, slightly higher than we had expected. The anticipated twin effects of the increase in the OFGEM price cap and an increase in the VAT rate on hospitality (partially reversing the July 2020 reduction) both impacted the figure as did surging petrol and diesel prices. Since there was a base effect of 0% dropping out from September 2020, all the change in headline inflation in October arises from the new inflation in the month September to October 2021 which represents the largest month on month increase since April 1993.
CPI Inflation fell to 3.1% from the previous months 3.2%. Inflation was expected to fall as there was a “base effect” of -0.4% as the increase in inflation in August-September 2020 dropped out (this spike of 0.4% was partly due to the rebound from the Eat Out to Help Out and VAT cut in August 2020). However, in addition to this base effect, there was a significant element of new inflation, with prices rising by 0.3% between September and August. This followed from a very sharp rise of 0.7% in July-August.
In a previous blog, we wrote about the importance of establishing an evidence base for interventions and identified funding as a key issue. This has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. How can services provide the best possible evidence-based interventions if the funding for service delivery and evaluation is not available?
With the close of the furlough scheme at the end of September, there are growing signs that older workers have remained stuck on furlough during the reopening while younger workers have returned comparatively swiftly to work.
Johnny Runge (Senior Social Researcher, NIESR) & Rose Lasko-Skinner (Demos)
“I just feel that some people are of the opinion that you’re not fired up, you’re not ambitious. I think it’s hard for someone to understand that… I’m nearly 60, but I’m still ambitious.” – Interview participant, woman, 59, working in retail, Yorkshire and the Humber.
Lockdown ended on 19 July; the furlough will end on 30 September. The economy is set to reach its pre-pandemic activity level, but the Bank of England’s extreme monetary accommodation appears to go on forever. It is past time for the Bank to act to bolster its credibility and to act to avoid un-anchoring inflation expectations.
Our recently published Global Economic Outlook included an upward revision to our projections for global GDP growth this year and next. Across countries, however, there is considerable divergence in the projected dates at which they will recover their pre-pandemic GDP levels. Output has already recovered its level from before the pandemic struck in China and the US. But the US is the only one of the G7 economies to have achieved that so far.
CPI inflation rose by a large amount (1.2%) and is now at 3.2%. Part of this increase was due to the “base effect” of the 0.4% fall in inflation last year (July-August 2020) dropping out of annual inflation. The fall in July-August 2020 reflected the Eat out to Help out Scheme and the reduction in VAT for the hospitality sector. However, in addition to this was a very large element of new inflation, with prices rising by 0.7% between July and August.