That was very close. Inflation held steady in January at 4 percent instead of rising to 4.2 percent, which is what most economists had predicted and the rest of us feared.
While this is only a minor difference, even the smallest pick-up in consumer prices would have had a disproportionate impact on whether the Bank of England goes ahead with its expected first interest rate cut sooner rather than later.
In fact, the better-than-expected inflation numbers, which were also lower than wage growth, brought good news for everyone, especially the teetotal lizards who like to comfort eat.
Prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages fell at a monthly rate of 0.4 percent in January, the first such drop in two years, helped by price cuts for bread and cereals, cream biscuits, sponge cakes and chocolate cookies.
And furniture prices fell at their fastest monthly pace in four years, with big cuts to the cost of kitchens, dining tables and chairs and leather sofas. It’s time to start doing that DIY.
Relief: Inflation held steady in January at 4% rather than rising to 4.2%, raising hopes that the Bank of England (pictured) will be confident enough to cut rates at its meeting May.
It was these lower prices that more than offset rising gas and electricity costs after Ofgem’s energy price cap increased last month.
Core inflation, which excludes energy and food, also held steady at 5.1 percent in January, as did the CPIH, the measure of inflation that includes owner-occupier housing costs.
Even better news was that the retail price index, the rate unions typically use in wage negotiations, actually fell to 4.9 percent in the year to January, down from 5.2 percent the previous month.
If you’re a glass-half-full type like me, then it’s almost a certainty that the Bank will be confident enough to cut rates at its May meeting.
Unless there are major external shocks, the trajectory is definitely downward, so there is no doubt that the Bank should start cutting.
If in doubt, members of the Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee should listen to its former economist, Andy Haldane, who said in an interview this week that he would have already cut rates, probably late last year, given the sluggish rate. UK growth. and progress in controlling inflation.
More pertinently, Haldane added that, with inflation set to be within striking distance of its 2 percent target by spring, the biggest danger now is that the Bank will be too slow to cut rates, just as it was too slow to cut rates. raise rates when inflation roared ahead.
Haldane does not speak with hindsight: he warned in June 2021 that inflation was rearing its ugly head and that rates should be raised.
As he points out, the task of monetary policy is to anticipate where inflation will be. He was right then and he is right now.
Sarah J. Maas is 37 years old, very beautiful, married with two children and has sold more than 38 million books translated into 37 languages.
What more could a girl want? Another best-seller.
And he has it: his latest novel published last month is number one in the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia.
House of Flame and Shadow is the third installment in their series of what is called ‘romantic’ fiction and follows the story of Bryce Quinlan, a half-human, half-fairy figure in Crescent City.
It is also the third best-selling fantasy novel since records began, with 44,761 copies sold in the first week.
Oh, and the multiverse Maas is also a star on TikTok and Instagram, with the hashtag #ACOTAR racking up 8.5 billion views.
At the midnight parties for the launch of her latest novel in Manhattan, the Valentino-clad writer was mobbed like a rock star with fans lining up on the street.
Bloomsbury puts it more modestly: Maas is a publishing phenomenon.
He has also been very lucky with Bloomsbury, which has published his previous 15 books in English and has a contract for six other titles.
Like the Harry Potter effect, the Maas effect, coupled with strong sales of air fryer cookbooks, means Bloomsbury will beat profit and sales forecasts. By a large margin.
Anyone who invested early on in Bloomsbury is also looking very good.
Shares soared 5.4 percent after the upgrade to an all-time high. Investors who realized that lockdown would lead us all to read more books will have seen the stock more than double since the summer of 2020.
Are they still worth buying? Who knows?
But Bloomsbury is one of those few pandemic winners still winning.
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