Saturday, 19 February 2011

So how did bad news week pan out?

Well CPI was 4.0% - twice target, RPI was 5.1%. Mervyn King was sanguine; Andrew Sentance of the MPC was hopping mad and said the UK was being sold by the pound. Unfortunately his time on the MPC comes to an end in May. It will make the doves happy to have the main hawk leave.

The Nationwide January Consumer Confidence Index fell to 47 from 54 in December, taking it back to just one point above its low of 46 in November.The spending index dropped to 70 from 90 in December, taking it to its lowest point since November 2008.  67% of consumers said the current economic situation was bad for them.

Unemployment was up, 7.9% of the workforce is now unemployed - about two and half million. The benefit claimant count was up by 2400 on the month.

On the plus side according to the ONS, consumer spending was up 1.9% in January compared with December. This may be spending postponed by snow taking place late.

New mortgages issued in January were 41,000 compared with 43,000 in December. So the housing market continues to stagnate. Next week we'll be getting a lot more data on housing, numbers from various lenders so this whole area will be topical.

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