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Economy in Brief

UK PPI Getting Back Into Trouble HICP Still in Deep Trouble
by Robert Brusca  March 16, 2012

The chart offers clear snap shot of how much UK PPI inflation has oscillated up and down since the financial crisis/recession. But it mostly has been too high

UK PPI inflation is running at 4.1% Yr/Yr. Core inflation is lower 3% Yr/Yr. Still the core is accelerating the headline is not, at least not for now. But Brent Oil prices are pushing higher at an accelerating pace.

UK PPI inflation has been anything but well behaved. The gyrations have been following closely the gyrations in oil.

What the BOE cares mot about is not the PPI but the HICP. Inflation on the HICP metric is off peak but the pace at 2.7% remains too strong relative to its alleged cap rate of 2%. November 2009 was the last time that the HICP was at the BOE sweet spot of 2% inflation. At a pace of 1.6% in October 2009 the HICP was last below 2% Yr/Yr. And now that seem to be ages ago.

Since October 2009 UK HICP price level index is 3.8 percentage points above its target top level for prices (that is, had the BOE run 2% inflation from Oct 2009 on). Over this period (27 months) the BOE has instead run an HICP inflation rate of 3.6% with core inflation up at a 2.9% pace. It has not all been all due to oil prices since the core rate is also way out of whack.

The BOE is way behind the curve and with a still struggling economy. Its fiscal austerity move has not worked and the economy is still in trouble with the BOE adrift in terms of this inflation pledge. It is not clear what the path to price stability will look like for the BOE.

UK PPI MFG Net Output Prices
  %M/M %SAAR
3Mo 6Mo 12Mo 12Mo
PPIxConst 1.7% -0.1% -0.5% 4.7% 7.3% 7.6% 18.0%
MFG 0.6% 0.2% 0.0% 3.2% 3.4% 4.1% 5.2%
Core 0.8% -0.1% 0.1% 3.1% 2.2% 3.0% 3.1%
Brent 8.1% 2.1% -2.3% 35.3% 17.4% 15.4% 40.6%
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