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Core CPI inflation declined to 5.9% in May, from 6.2% in April, and will fall further in June.
Retailers are shrinking their margins, rather than passing on surging producer prices fully to consumers.
Faltering demand will constrain future core price rises, enabling the MPC to stop its hiking cycle this year.
The trade deficit was huge by past standards in April, despite narrowing to £8.5B, from £11.6B in March.
Import values have surged as fuel prices have shot up, while Brexit is continuing to weigh on exports.
We expect the largest trade deficit since the mid-70s in 2022, leaving sterling vulnerable to depreciate further.
Higher energy prices and tax rises pushed up the headline rate of CPI inflation to a 40-year high in April.
But there were encouraging signs that retailers are starting to absorb some of the surge in producer prices.
Inflation will ease over the summer as base effects kick in and the real income squeeze inhibits services price rises.
The trade deficit, excluding erratics, jumped to a recordhigh in March, largely due to the surge in energy prices.
High energy prices, surging imports of travel services and weak export growth will keep the deficit wide.
Governor Bailey is showing no signs of buckling to pressure from MPs for faster rate hikes to tame inflation.
The upward trend in the PAYE measure of employees is more plausible than the flat trend presented by the LFS.
Very strong survey indicators might reflect rising average hours and likely are insensitive to rising quits.
Employment growth looks set to slow from Q2, due to the rise in NICs and weaker demand.
Firms want to hold more stocks than in the 2010s, but now are accumulating them at a slower pace.
GDP growth depends on the rate of change in inventories, so the deceleration will depress growth.
Futures prices historically have been a better guide to energy prices than assuming they don't change.
RPI inflation will rise even more than CPI inflation in April, due to the bigger weighting of energy prices.
But house price growth is about to slow, while mortgage interest payments will rise only slowly.
Weighting differences point to a bigger drag on RPI inflation from falling energy prices next year.
House price growth was strong in Q1, but will now slow, due to rising mortgage rates and falling real incomes.
Several timely indicators of demand, including the RICS new buyer enquiries balance, are starting to soften.
House price growth looks set to slow to 4.5% this year, and mortgage approvals will fall to pre-Covid levels.
We look for two further 25bp increases in Bank Rate this year, not one, after March's jump in CPI inflation.
CPI inflation looks set to peak at about 9% in April and remain above 8% until the very end of this year.
But energy and core goods inflation will plunge next year; the MPC needn't be as active as markets expect.
Output in the consumer services sector recovered strongly in February, assisted by fading Covid fears.
...But output in the health sector likely fell considerably, due to sharp falls in Covid testing and vaccinations.
Manufacturing output was hit by a slump in car production, while building work was disrupted by storms.
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