- Inflation surge well and truly underway
- House prices add 10 per cent in May
- Decarbonisation plans for UK reliant on private sector
Inflation hotting up
Although a rise in inflation was totally expected, UK figures this morning have dampened investor sentiment in London. An increase to 2.5 per cent in the CPI reading in June, the highest level since August 2018, exceeded expectations and left investors questioning the belief of central bankers that inflation will only be transitory. A similarly marked increase in inflation in the US reported yesterday, where CPI has hit 5.4 per cent, was pretty much shrugged off by US markets overnight.
In both the US and UK used car sales were a significant part of the equation although the rise in commodity prices in recent months is also a more long term factor. The FTSE100 was down 0.5 per cent in early trading in reaction.
Read more in Neil Wilson’s morning trader column here and for more of our weekly economics content from Chris Dillow, click on the links below:
Talking of inflation, house price inflation has led to strong outperformance at Barratt Developments (BDEV), where housing completions have almost returned to pre-pandemic levels and surging prices have led to a forecast that profits will come in marginally ahead of expectations.
But is the house price surge abating?
May's house price index from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed double digit growth in prices as the final push before the stamp duty holiday began to taper prompted a surge of buying. Average house prices rose by 10 per cent year on year in May, up from 9.6 per cent in April, leaving the average house price at £255,000. The biggest rises were seen in Scotland and Wales with London the laggard with growth of 5.6 per cent. Anecdotal evidence since the beginning of June suggests that housing market activity has begun to calm down a little although we can expect to see more strong headline house price growth figures out to the end of the summer at least with the next big marker the withdrawal of lower bands of stamp duty exemption in September.
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