UK Economy
Markets: UK annual consumer inflation dips to 1.6%
By Finfacts Team
Apr 15, 2014 - 4:36 PM

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The UK Consumer Prices Index (CPI) grew by 1.6% in the year to March 2014, down from 1.7% in February, according to the Office of National Statistics.

The largest contribution to the fall in the rate came from transport, particularly motor fuels. Other smaller downward effects came from the clothing and furniture & household goods sectors.

These were partially offset by upward contributions from restaurants & hotels and alcohol & tobacco

Alpesh Paleja, CBI head of Economic Analysis, said: “The continued decline in inflation is encouraging, and the narrowing gap between wage growth and inflation is good news for the months ahead.

“Lower inflation should also allow monetary policy to stay loose for longer, providing support to the UK’s continuing recovery.”

Tony Wilson, head of strategy at the foreign exchange specialists FEXCO, comments: "Sterling has strengthened against the dollar and the euro on the news that UK inflation has fallen to its lowest level since October 2009.

"While the 1.6% CPI reading had been widely forecast, its future implications are harder to read.

"Steadily falling prices and the wide availability of credit are already fuelling a spending boom among British consumers, but the fact that CPI has now been safely below the Bank of England's 2% target for three straight months may lead the Bank to consider normalising its interest rate policy. After five years at 0.5%, Britain's rock bottom base rate is being blamed for inflating a dangerously large house price bubble - and has led to calls for rates to be returned to more normal levels.

"Sterling had suffered a torrid few days since sliding from a high of 1.6820 against the Greenback last Thursday. Now the suggestion that an interest rate rise could come this year will move it firmly back into upside territory."

US Markets

In New York Tuesday, the Dow is off 1 point to 16,172.

Both the S&P 500 added 0.11% and the Nasdaq slipped by 0.29%

US benchmark updates

Asia Markets

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell 0.2% Tuesday.

Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 0.62%; China's Shanghai Composite fell 1.40%; South Korea's KOSPI slid 0.24% and Australia's S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.55%; and in Mumbai, the Bombay Stock Exchange the S&P BSE India Sensex Index  slipped 0.64%.

Europe Markets

In Europe, the Dow Jones Stoxx Europe 600  is down 0.51 in mid afternoon trading Tuesday.

In Dublin, the ISEQ  is down 0.61%.

Ryanair  has fallen 0.96%.

European Benchmarks

Irish Share Prices

Euribor Rates

AIB Daily Report

Bank of Ireland Daily Report

Currencies

The euro is trading at $1.3829 and at £0.8263.

For live currency updates, check the right-hand column of the Finfacts home page.

The US dollar fell to $1.6038 per euro on Tuesday, July 15, 2008 - an-all time record.

Commodities

The Baltic Dry Index, a measure of shipping costs for dry commodities, hit an all-time high of 11,771 on May 21, 2008. From that time it reversed and on the 5th of December, 2008 it hit a low of 663 - - close to a 1986 low.

On Thursday, July 15, 2010, the index fell for the 35th straight session, by 9 points, or 3.11%, to 1,619 points, Bloomberg report.

On Monday in London the BDI closed down 13 points or 1.30% to 989. The index is down 56.57% year to date and up 12.90% in 12 month period.

The index rose by 220% in 2013 to 2,237.

Global rebalancing — the tanker scrapyard index?

Crude oil for May 2014 delivery is trading on the Chicago York Mercantile Exchange (CME/Nymex) at $104.01 up 27 cents from Monday's close. In London, Brent for May 2014 delivery is trading on the International Commodities Exchange at $108.70. The North Sea benchmark accounts for two-thirds of the global market.

Finfacts, July, 15, 2013: US West Texas Intermediate oil benchmark jumps in July - - margin between WTI and Brent falls.

Gold spot price

The spot price of an oz of gold is trading on the CME in Chicago at $1,302.30 down $24.90 from Monday's closing - - the gold price fell 28% in 2013, the biggest annual plunge since 1981.

Gold had hit a record high of $1,921.15 a troy ounce on Sept 06, 2011.

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