Week in Review - 25th March, 2011

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CPI annual inflation moved up again, by 0.4 percentage points, to 4.4% in February. RPI inflation was 5.5%, up from 5.1% in January. The most significant upward contributions to the change in both the CPI and RPI between January and February were from: housing and household services, as a result of higher gas bills; clothing and footwear; and miscellaneous goods and services, most notably financial services.
↓ Public Sector FinancesPublic sector net debt (excluding financial interventions) was £875.8bn (equivalent to 58.0% of GDP) at the end of February 2011 compared with £729.9bn (50.8 per cent of GDP) as at the end of February 2010.
↔ EEF Pay SettlementsIn the three months to February, pay freezes accounted for 13.5% of settlements, this represents a fifth consecutive monthly fall. Pay freezes as a proportion of settlements are now at their lowest level since September 2008, and well below their peak of 79.3% in September 2009. Deferrals as a percentage of settlements were largely unchanged at 7.1%.
↓ Retail SalesBetween January and February, total retails sales volumes decreased by 0.8%. Sales fell in food and non-food stores. However compared with February 2010 the volume of retail sales in February 2011 was 1.3% higher.
The week ahead
Tue 29th: GDP, 2010q4, final revision; Balance of Payments; Business Investment; Lending to individuals
Wed 30th: Index of Services
Thu 31st: GfK/NOP Consumer Confidence


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