Week in Review - 21st January, 2011

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↑ CPICPI annual inflation moved up again, by 0.4 percentage points, to 3.7% in December. The most significant upward contributions to the change in the CPI between November and December were from: transport, which saw its largest monthly price increase (3.6%) on record; housing and household services; and food and non-alcoholic beverages. There was some downwards pressure from the price of clothing and footwear.In the year to December, RPI inflation was 4.8%, up from 4.7% in November.
↔ Labour Market StatisticsThe three-month ILO unemployment rate remains at 7.9%, though the number of unemployed people rose by 49,000 over the quarter to 2.5 million. Conversely, the claimant count measure of unemployment – which records the number of people claiming Job Seekers' Allowance – fell by 4,100 to 1.46 million. The claimant count rate remains at 4.5%. There are 144,000 fewer claimants than at this point last year.
↑ EEF Pay Settlements The three-month average pay settlement was 2.2% in December, up a little from a revised figure of 2.1% in November, though this figure is based on only a small number of settlements. 20.3% of pay settlements were between 0.0% and 2.0% in the three months to November and the proportion of pay deals between 2.0% and 3.0% was 38.1%. The monthly average settlement was 2.2% in December compared with a revised figure of 1.5% in November.
↔ Retail SalesYear on year, there was no change in the volume of retail sales in December. However, between November and December total sales volume decreased by 0.8%. Both food and non-food sales fell. Non-store retailing (which includes internet sales) rose by 5.4% its largest rise since March 2009.
↓ Trends in lendingThe stock of lending to businesses contracted by around £5 billion in the three months to November. The annual rate of growth for total lending to consumers picked up in October and November to 0.6%, the highest rate seen since September 2009, though it remains low.
The week ahead
Tue 25th: GDP (2010q4, preliminary);
Wed 26th: Labour Market Statistics; Index of Services; Public Sector Finances
Fri 28th: Retail Sales; Trends in lending


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