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CENTRAL BANKS LOOK TO DIFFERENT PATHS TO DEAL WITH HIGHER INFLATION

  • CENTRAL BANKS LOOK TO DIFFERENT PATHS TO DEAL WITH HIGHER INFLATION

    CENTRAL BANKS LOOK TO DIFFERENT PATHS TO DEAL WITH HIGHER INFLATION

    Data Sourced from FE Analytics, and Bloomberg Finance LP

    CENTRAL BANKS LOOK TO DIFFERENT PATHS TO DEAL WITH HIGHER INFLATION

    This week inflation continued to dominate the headlines with various pundits and policy makers forecasting doom, either from too much inflation or occasionally because there isn’t enough. New US figures released this week showed a slowdown in price rises, which was immediately declared a win for team transitory, but closer inspection showed prices could still be rising once certain one-off effects were accounted for. The core message is still that many economies are recovering far quicker than battered global supply chains can cope with.

    The US central bank seems content to let inflation run hot while global supply chains sort themselves out, while the Bank of England is keen to slow things down to a speed the supply side can keep up with. Both approaches have risk. High inflation can become difficult to shift if people come to expect it and start asking for higher wages, which could mean the bank has to take more drastic action down the road. But trying to tamp things down too soon risks derailing a fragile UK recovery which could be very difficult to get going again. Both sides need to practice moderation.

    US equities recovered some ground this week and government bond yields fell slightly despite mixed economic signals. US inflation remained above 5% for the fifth straight month in September. The inflation reading of 5.4% ticked up slightly from the 5.3% recorded in August as rising food and housing costs made a significant contribution. Core inflation, without more volatile food and energy costs, was unchanged from August at 4%. Despite signs that some inflation is proving temporary, as petrol price rises are slowing and used car prices have fallen for the second month, markets expect the central bank to begin withdrawing stimulus.

    The publication of the minutes of the US Federal Reserve’s most recent interest rate meeting appeared to confirm the view that tapering of bond purchases will begin this year. However, this was offset by a number of positive earnings updates and by the number of weekly job losses falling below 300,000 for the first time since the pandemic began.

    UK: IMF WARNS OF SLOWING GROWTH AND EXPECTS UK TO LAG

    The latest global economic outlook from the IMF has slightly reduced its forecast for global economic growth. The global economy is projected to grow 5.9% in 2021 and 4.9% in 2022. The downward revision of 0.1% for 2021 reflects a slow-down in growth for advanced economies and worsening pandemic dynamics for developing countries.

    Developing countries have struggled to control the spread of Covid as governments delayed policy decisions and the limited supply of vaccinations has further slowed recovery. In contrast, most advanced economies have now reached pre-pandemic levels, although recent supply-chain problems have weakened growth in these areas. The IMF predicts the UK’s recovery from coronavirus will likely lag other countries and it expects by 2024 the economy would remain 3% smaller than the pre-pandemic forecast. Other developed countries are expected to exceed the growth predicted before the pandemic.

    EQUITIES: RECRUITMENT FIRMS BENEFIT FROM BUOYANT JOBS MARKET

    The most recent UK labour market data showed the workforce is continuing to recover with payroll up 207,000 in September. The number of job vacancies rose to 1.1 million while the unemployment rate fell to 4.5% from 4.9%. However, figures indicated the UK labour force is still significantly smaller than it was before the pandemic began. Salaries have seen strong growth, with average wages up 7% last quarter, although these figures are distorted by the effect of pandemic restrictions.

    Recruitment firms are reaping the benefit of a tighter labour market. Trading updates from recruitment companies also showed significant growth. This week Hays Plc reported a 41% increase in fees with good growth in all regions. Earlier this month two other listed recruiters, Robert Walter and PageGroup, upgraded their profit forecasts for the year as they benefit from a shortage of candidates driving up salaries. This has reflected well in their share prices recently and all three are above their pre-pandemic levels.

    For more information regarding our weekly market reports, we encourage you to give us a call on 01732 746188 or send us an email at enquiries@foxgroveassociates.co.uk.

    This document has been prepared for general information only. It does not contain all of the information which an investor may require in order to make an investment decision. If you are unsure whether this is a suitable investment you should speak to your financial adviser. This information is not guaranteed to be correct, complete, or accurate. Financial Express Investments Ltd, registration number 03110696, is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN 209967). For our full disclaimer please visit https://www.fefundinfo.com/en-gb/about/legal-and-policies/.

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