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This week in markets UK inflation slows more than expected, but the cost of living still remains a concern as pressure on households remains.

US CPI surprises to the downside - hopes grow that inflation has peaked

US inflation has risen at its slowest pace in a year, rising by 7.1% for the 12 months to November and appreciably lower than October’s 7.7% annual rate. The November figure surprised economists, who had forecast a 7.3% annual increase.

The slowdown was primarily driven by core prices, with motor fuel falling by 2.1% over the month. Given recent declines in gasoline prices, forecasters are predicting a steeper decline in December’s numbers. Food prices, which have risen significantly over the year, increased by 0.5% over the month, the smallest monthly increase in 11 months.

After a series of aggressive interest rate rises this year, the US Federal Reserve (Fed) might now opt to slow the pace of rate rises. Markets are anticipating a 0.5% rate rise in December, breaking from the 0.75% rises seen at the past four meetings. One factor which may lead to calls for a steeper rise is the labour market, which remains tight and is still experiencing pressure from wage inflation.

UK inflation slows more than expected, but food prices continue to rise

UK inflation dropped to 10.7% over the year to November, down from October’s 11.1% increase and beating expectations of a 10.9% annual increase. The fall was driven by transport inflation, which went from 8.9% to 7.2% over the year as fuel and used car prices decreased.

Whilst this is a welcome decline, pressure on households continues, with food and non-alcoholic beverage prices rising another 1.1% over the month to bring the annual increase to 16.4%.

This adds to the confusing picture facing the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) when they meet to consider their next rate rise today. As in the US, pay growth continues to add inflationary pressure, as does continued concern over gas supplies and energy prices. However, many economists believe the UK is going into a protracted recession, if not already technically in one. On balance, the market believes there will be a 0.5% rate rise but the MPC’s votes will be split, reflecting the tightrope that committee members walk.

Market review

Most major markets ended last week in negative territory as they awaited inflation news. In the US, the S&P 500 declined by more than 3%. However, following the latest US CPI figures the market bounced almost 1%, and the index finished the week to 13 December up over 2%.

The Chinese equity market continues to make up ground following the relaxation of Covid rules, ending last week up almost 7%, but remains down over 20% for the year.

The Brent Crude oil index saw a steep decline of over 10% last week.


Important information

All details in this article are provided for information purposes only and should not be misinterpreted as investment advice or taxation advice.

Where the data in this article comes partially from third party sources the accuracy, completeness or correctness of the information contained in this publication is not guaranteed, and third-party data is provided without any warranties of any kind.  Sarasin & Partners LLP shall have no liability in connection with third party data.

© 2022 Sarasin & Partners LLP – all rights reserved.  This article can only be distributed or reproduced with permission from Sarasin & Partners LLP.

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The contents of this website have been approved for issue to US persons by Sarasin & Partners LLP (‘Sarasin’), which is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Under no circumstances should this information or any part of it be copied, reproduced or redistributed.

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It is not for distribution to non-US persons and should not be relied upon by retail investors.

If you do not meet the above criteria, you must leave this site immediately and you accept Sarasin will not be liable in any way whatsoever for your use of this website or the information contained within if you choose to proceed.

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This website should not be regarded as an offer or solicitation to conduct investment business in any jurisdiction other than US persons. The information on this website is provided on the condition that it will not form the basis for any investment decision by the recipient or clients that the recipient may be representing or acting for.

The information on this website has been obtained from sources that Sarasin believe to be reliable and accurate at the date of publication, but no warranty of accuracy is given. We are not responsible for the accuracy of information contained within sites provided by third parties, which may have links to or from our pages. Any opinions expressed are our judgement at the time of writing and are subject to change without notice. By proceeding you agree to the exclusion by Sarasin of any liability in respect of any errors or omissions by Sarasin and any other relevant third parties.

The information on this website does not in any way constitute investment, tax, legal or any other form of advice or recommendation that a product or investment is suitable for you or your circumstances. If you are unsure as to whether the investments described in this site are suitable for you should seek professional advice from a professional adviser.

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If you do not meet the above criteria, you must leave this site immediately and you accept Sarasin will not be liable in any way whatsoever for your use of this website or the information contained within if you choose to proceed.

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This website should not be regarded as an offer or solicitation to conduct investment business in any jurisdiction other than South Africa. The information on this website is provided on the condition that it will not form the basis for any investment decision by the recipient or clients that the recipient may be representing or acting for.

The information on this website has been obtained from sources that Sarasin believe to be reliable and accurate at the date of publication, but no warranty of accuracy is given. We are not responsible for the accuracy of information contained within sites provided by third parties, which may have links to or from our pages. Any opinions expressed are our judgement at the time of writing and are subject to change without notice. By proceeding you agree to the exclusion by Sarasin of any liability in respect of any errors or omissions by Sarasin and any other relevant third parties.

The information on this website does not in any way constitute investment, tax, legal or any other form of advice or recommendation that a product or investment is suitable for you or your circumstances. If you are unsure as to whether the investments described in this site are suitable for you should seek professional advice from a professional adviser.

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It is not for distribution outside South Africa and should not be relied upon by retail investors.

If you do not meet the above criteria, you must leave this site immediately and you accept Sarasin will not be liable in any way whatsoever for your use of this website or the information contained within if you choose to proceed.

What you should know about the site’s content

This website should not be regarded as an offer or solicitation to conduct investment business in any jurisdiction other than South Africa.

The information on this website has been obtained from sources that Sarasin believe to be reliable and accurate at the date of publication, but no warranty of accuracy is given. We are not responsible for the accuracy of information contained within sites provided by third parties, which may have links to or from our pages. Any opinions expressed are our judgement at the time of writing and are subject to change without notice. By proceeding you agree to the exclusion by Sarasin of any liability in respect of any errors or omissions by Sarasin and any other relevant third parties.

The information on this website does not in any way constitute investment, tax, legal or any other form of advice or recommendation that a product or investment is suitable for you or your circumstances. If you are unsure as to whether the investments described in this site are suitable for you should seek professional advice from a professional adviser.

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