Haver Analytics
Haver Analytics


Kritika Jain

Kritika joined Haver Analytics as a Junior Economist in August 2022. She writes commentary on UK macroeconomic trends and provides client support of Haver’s data content and proprietary software.

From 2019 to 2022 Kritika worked in Financial Accounting and Capital Markets. Prior to working in financial services, she was a research assistant at Frontier Economics within the public policy practice and has also interned at HM Revenue and Customs.

Kritika holds an MA in Economics from the University of Manchester and a BA in Economics from India.

Publications by Kritika Jain

  • The latest UK housing market data from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) residential market survey and from the latest Halifax House Price Index revealed surprising signs of improvement.

    The key messages from these reports were as follows-

    • The RICS measure for new buyer enquiries in May climbed to -18%, a significant improvement compared to the previous reading of -34% in April. However, despite a noteworthy turnaround in buyer interest over the past 12 months, the figure still suggests a relatively subdued trend in buyer demand.

    • Alongside this, the agreed sales balance rose to -7% in May, also much less negative from figures of -29% and -18% recorded in March and April respectively.

    • The national house price balance additional remained in negative territory but still rose to -30% in May, up from –38% in April. This was firmer than expected as the consensus forecast was centred on a net balance of -38%.

    • This news chimed with yesterday’s survey of house prices from the Halifax building society. The headline house price index, for example, showed no growth in May, following a decline of 0.4% in April.

    • Still, the weaker house price trend in recent months meant that UK house prices experienced their first year-on-year contraction since 2012 with a -1.0% fall in the annual rate of growth in May.

  • Today’s estimates of the UK services PMI suggest that business activity continued to expand during May, thanks to a strong rise in output and incoming new orders.

    The key details were as follows:

    • The S&P Global / CIPS UK Services PMI Business Activity Index was 55.2 in May, a modest decline from 55.9 in April and upwardly revised from the earlier flash estimate of 55.1.

    • New export orders expanded as a result of an increase in tourist numbers, alongside solid demand for business services from US and Europe. Job creation also continued as firms recruited more staff to meet business needs, while wage pressures also persisted.

    • Input price inflation rose to a three-month high due to elevated wage levels and ongoing supplier price hikes for items such as food.

    • The composite PMI-which weighs the manufacturing and services sectors combined- fell to 54.0 in May, down from 54.9 in April.

  • Today’s data from the UK covering the housing market and the manufacturing sector suggest the economy is rolling over. The good news is that inflationary pressures appear to be easing at the same time.

    The key elements of note from these data releases were as follows:

    • The Nationwide house price index fell by 3.4% in the year to May, the biggest annual decline since July 2009. Average prices now stand at around 4% below their August 2022 peak.

    • This news chimed with data from the Bank of England showing net mortgage lending slumped in April. Mortgage lending specifically declined from net zero in March to £1.4 billion of net repayments in April. Excluding the COVID era, this is the lowest level on record.

    • That data chimed too with the accompanying news for net mortgage approvals, which fell from 51,500 in March to 48,700 in April.

    • As for manufacturing this latest S&P Global manufacturing purchasing manager’s Index (PMI) fell to 47.1, down from 47.8 in April, although upwardly revised from the earlier flash estimate of 46.9. The details of this report were equally soggy, showing falling new orders and sharply rising finished inventories.

    • Brighter news, however, emerged on the inflation front. For example, there were signs of further easing in supply chain pressures. And this was accompanied by a sharp retreat in input and output price pressures as well. In fact, average input costs actually fell for the first time since early 2016 (see chart).

  • United Kingdom
    | May 26 2023

    UK Retail Sales Volume Rebound in April

    UK retail sales grew a little more than expected in April. The broader trend also suggests a slightly brighter picture for consumer spending, notwithstanding still-intense cost of living pressures from high inflation.

    The main points from this report were as follows –

    • Retail sales volumes rose by 0.5% m/m in April 2023, partly reversing the sharp contraction of 1.2% chalked up in March. The consensus forecast was centred on a rise of 0.3% on the month.

    • The headline increase in retail sales volume was predominantly driven by a rise in the volume of goods purchased from non-food stores (e.g. clothing and household goods). They increased by 1.0% in April after a decline of 1.8% in March, when poor weather conditions throughout the month affected sales.

    • Food stores sales volumes increased by 0.7% following a monthly decline of 0.8% in March.

    • Looking through the month-to-month volatility the trend in UK retail sales appears to have improved. Sales volume rose by 0.3% in the three months to April, from -1.0% in the previous three months.

    Overall, the pick-up in today’s retail sales volumes is encouraging and will offer some encouragement to the idea that the UK can avoid a near-term recession.

  • Today’s UK CPI data for April revealed a sizeable drop in the headline inflation rate but the decline was not as big as forecasters had expected. And that was in part because core inflationary pressures continued to climb with services inflation now at more than 30-year highs.

    The key highlights of this report were as follows: • UK consumer price inflation dropped to 8.7% in April from 10.1% in March. While this drop was sizeable, it was not as large as expected. The consensus forecast, for example, was centred on a headline inflation rate of 8.3%. • The headline decline in inflation was the result of a big drop in energy price inflation. Electricity and gas prices specifically contributed 1.42 percentage points to the fall in annual inflation in April as last April’s rise dropped out of the annual comparison. The decline was result of the UK’s Energy Price Guarantee. The energy price cap surged a year ago as wholesale prices surged following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. • Core inflation (which excludes energy, food, alcohol and tobacco) climbed by 6.8% in the 12 months to April, up from 6.2% in March and the highest rate since March 1992. • Food price inflation remained extremely high, rising by 19.2% yr/yr in March down only modestly from 19.1% in April. The CPI services index also increased by 6.9% in the year to April 2023, up from 6.6% in March, placing it at its highest level since March 1992.

    In conclusion, while the big drop in headline inflation may mark a turning point in the UK inflation cycle, the news that core inflation has continued to climb will not be well received at the Bank of England.

  • United Kingdom
    | May 16 2023

    UK Labor Market Cooling Off

    The latest raft of UK labor market data offered some welcome news for the Bank of England. Most gauges of activity, for example, suggested that a lot of heat is now coming out of the labor market. And the same can be said of most of the gauges for wage pressures as well.

    The key highlights from this month’s report included the following:

    The unemployment rate rose to 3.9% in the three months to March from 3.8% in the previous three months. Unemployment has now risen steadily over the last few months from a low of 3.5% last August.

    The number of payroll employees fell by 136k between March and April – the first monthly decline since the start of 2021. The consensus had expected a rise of 25k.

    Average total pay (including bonuses) increased by 5.8% in the three months to March while regular pay grew by 6.7%. Both estimates were also lower than economists’ expectations. They suggest a slower pace of wage growth compared to last year. In the meantime and when adjusted for headline inflation, real wage growth continued to remain in deep negative territory (see chart above).

    Inactivity – which had risen sharply over recent years – continues to show signs of recovery. Over the past quarter, the number of people saying they were inactive fell by 156k or 1.8%, with almost two-thirds of that improvement coming from students.

    In conclusion, this is an inflation-friendly report, and will buttress expectations that the Bank of England is close to completing its tightening cycle.