InvestmentsMay 29 2013

New inflation figures may signal more pain

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The chief investment officer for fund manager Kames Capital said the monthly inflation statistics, which showed a 0.2 percentage point drop from the expected levels were “good numbers” but not enough to blow away the spectre of more monetary policy action.

Mr Jones said: “The UK inflation numbers confirm the power of global downward pricing trends, and with lower-than-expected outcomes across consumer and retail price measures, they reinforce the impression that inflation globally can surprise to the downside.

“When UK inflation data is coming in below expectations, after so many surprises to the upside in the past, then we know the trend to lower inflation seen elsewhere has some power.”

The Office for National Statistics figures showed that consumer price inflation was 2.4 per cent; the market had expected 2.6 per cent. For the retail price index, the market anticipated 3.1 per cent, but the actual figure was 2.9 per cent.

Mr Jones said: “Despite these good numbers, inflation remains above the level targeted by even the watered-down Bank of England remit. A continued trend to lower inflation in the face of subdued growth will only support the notion that interest rates will stay lower for yet longer.”

Adviser view

Jamie Perkins, partner for London-based Westminster Wealth Management, said:

“Even with the drop in inflation, prices are still rising six times as fast as wages. The inflationary spectre has receded but not disappeared, and with banks still paying below-inflation rates, appetite for better performing investments is undimmed.”