The partial lifting of the UK’s lockdown has led to a strong bounceback in economic activity, next week’s numbers will show.
Friday’s official figures could show that retail sales soared in April, probably to a record high. Purchasing managers’ surveys the same day could also hit records for both the manufacturing and services sectors: these surveys, however, show the proportion of firms enjoying rising output rather than the size of those rises. The CBI’s survey of manufacturers might not be quite so strong, but even it should show rising order books and output expectations.
This upturn, however, is bringing with it rising inflation. CPI inflation on Wednesday should post another rise partly because a petrol price fall last April will drop out of the annual data but also perhaps because retailers have raised prices a little upon re-opening.