Low inflation hopes cheer Clarke
Tuesday 14 January 1997
Although a majority of City analysts still expect Mr George to advise higher interest rates, financial market sentiment has swung in favour of the view that Mr Clarke can probably keep them unchanged before the election.
The pound fell more than a pfennig against the German mark yesterday after the publication of figures showing prices charged at the factory gate rose by only 1.7 per cent in the 12 months to December. This was the lowest rate of output price inflation since October 1986.
Prices manufacturers pay for materials have fallen by nearly 6 per cent during the past 12 months, helped by the strength of the pound.
Separately, a survey of high street sales by the British Retail Consortium showed that retail spending grew last month at a slower pace than during October and November. A flurry of Christmas trading statements from retailers confirmed that most had recorded strong but not booming sales. However, a report published today by research group Income Data Services notes signs that higher inflation is starting to affect pay awards.
Mixed evidence on the state of the economy during the past week has given Mr Clarke useful ammunition against the Bank of England's preference for a tougher policy. "It would be one of the most surprising moves of the year if the Chancellor raised rates this week," said Simon Briscoe, an economist at Nikko Europe.
Boots yesterday confirmed other retailers' comments when it said Christmas sales were slow through December until a final surge in the last few days. Announcing a 6 per cent increase in Christmas trading on the same period last year, Boots chief executive Lord Blyth said the performance was "satisfactory overall".
Comment, page 15
- 1 Strictly Come Dancing 2014: Gregg Wallace joins line-up as final celebrities revealed
- 2 Keira Knightley topless: Usually conservative actress does own take on #Freethenipple campaign for Interview Magazine
- 3 Oil tanker with $100 million cargo goes missing off Texas coast
- 4 Saudi Arabia executes 19 in one half of August in 'disturbing surge of beheadings'
- 5 Brother and sister, Christopher Buckner and Timothy Savoy, arrested for 'committing incest after watching 'The Notebook''
YouTube video posted by Isis militants shows 'execution of 250 Syrian soldiers'
Keira Knightley topless: Usually conservative actress does own take on #Freethenipple campaign for Interview Magazine
Oil tanker with $100 million cargo goes missing off Texas coast
George Galloway left with severe bruising after attack in Notting Hill by man 'shouting about the Holocaust'
Brother and sister, Christopher Buckner and Timothy Savoy, arrested for 'committing incest after watching 'The Notebook''
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
- < Previous
- Next >
iJobs Money & Business
£35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Network Engineer (CCNP, CCNA, Linux, OSPF,...
£50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: DevOps Engineer (Systems Administration, L...
£60000 - £70000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A prestigious leading professiona...
£50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Financial Technical Consultant (C++, C#, F...