Inflation jumped in October, with the CPI hitting 2.7 per cent, from 2.2 per cent in September. The jump went against previous expectations from the Bank of England – and is rumoured to have influenced the recent BoE decision not to continue with more quantitative easing.
One-off effects like the rise in tuition fees are said to form a significant contribution to inflation. (City A.M. p.8, The Times, p.19, Telegraph Biz p.1)
According to the OECD the UK economy will continue to grow by at least 0.5% every quarter. This comes after other less positive news such as the recent NIES estimates which indicated growth had slowed in the last month. (Express p.2, City AM, Telegraph)
Gas prices might have been fixed, with the FSA, Ed Davey and Ofgem all on the scent thanks to whistleblower traders. The latest scandal comes in the wake of hefty retail price rises, an unexpected uptick in inflation, AND of course, the coming annual festive squeeze. Whether any wrongdoing actually fed through to retail gas prices remains to be seen, but if so energy companies may have to compensate their customers. (Express p.2, City A.M. p.1, pretty much everywhere else)
Today’s Money Mail focuses on the impact of QE on pensions. According to consultants Punter Southall, printing money in the long run will be a wealth tax, but will also impact pensioners disproportionately hard, due to a potential 30% hit to bond values. (Daily Mail p. p.37)
ONS stats show house prices in the UK are still up year on year by 1.7% in the 12 months to September – but this represents a slowing rate of price growth and on a monthly basis prices are down. (Everywhere)
Research from Zoopla shows that in Romford sellers offer the largest price reductions in the whole UK to get their property sold – knocking off 10.3%, or £33,000 from the asking price. (The Sun p.32)
Randstad reveals that since 2006, those employed in further education have enjoyed a 14.7 per cent pay rise, compared with a private sector average of only 10.2 per cent. (The Times Business section p.37)
Business groups, including the Institute of Directors, have responded cautiously to the latest government plans for flexible working, saying the extra administration could be a real burden to business, and may not help employees. (City A.M. p.16)
And in other news…
Abu Qatada is still in the UK. He struck a smile for the press outside his North London home yesterday, to the annoyance of almost every commentator.