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

  • Today’s UK GDP figures suggest the economy grew more strongly than expected in Q2, notwithstanding fears of stagnation. Still, the UK’s economic performance since the pandemic has been lacklustre, to say the least.

    The key details of the report can be summarised as follows:

    • UK GDP grew by 0.2% in Q2 following growth of 0.1% in the previous quarter. Market expectations were centred on an unchanged GDP level. • On the output side, service sector activity rose by 0.1% q/q, production by 0.7% q/q and construction by 0.3% q/q. The economy’s expansion in other words was broadly based.
    • On the expenditure side, the gain in GDP was driven by a 0.7% rise in household consumption after no growth in Q1. • Government spending rose by 3.1% in Q2 primarily due to higher spending on public administration and defence. • In contrast, there was no growth in gross fixed capital formation in the latest quarter as a 3.4% increase in business investment was offset by a 6.7% fall in government investment. • Net trade also restrained the economy’s expansion as import volumes grew more quickly than exports. • While the stronger-than-expected gain in GDP in Q2 will be welcomed, the UK’s post-pandemic economic performance has been slow. The level of GDP in Q2 2023, for example, was still some 0.2% below the level in Q4 2019, just prior to the onset of the pandemic.

  • The latest estimates from the CBI Distributive Trades Survey indicate a sharp contraction in retail sales volume. The sharp fall in the expectations component further suggests that this weakness could persist through the coming month, presenting a challenging landscape for the retail sector.
    The key messages from today’s survey included:

    • Headline sales volumes in the retail sector continued to decline for a third consecutive month. The balance of respondents suggesting comparing sales volumes with a year ago sales fell to -25% in July from -9% in June. The expectations balance in the meantime fell to -35% in July from a balance of zero in June.

    • Forward-looking gauges, moreover, additionally hint that further weakness is to come. Underlying details of the survey, for example, revealed weakness in new orders and elevated finished inventory positions.

    • Alongside this, the CBI Distributive Trade Survey reported a decline in wholesale sales volumes but at a slower pace in July (-9% from -15% in June). As for the expectation component, wholesalers anticipate volumes to fall at a similar pace next month.

    • The balance for motor trade sales volumes also fell to -27% in July from -11% in June, with a modest decline in sales volume expected in August.

  • United Kingdom
    | Jun 30 2023

    UK Economy still avoiding recession

    Today’s GDP figures suggest that the UK economy has managed to avoid a recession in the first three months of this year, partly thanks to a pick-up in business investment.

    The key points of the report can be summarised as follows:

    • UK GDP grew by an unrevised 0.1% in the three months to March the same pace as in the previous quarter. This was in line with UK economists’ expectations.

    • On the output side the small gain was mainly driven by an increase in output in the service sector which rose by 0.1% in Q1 after growth of 0.1% in the previous quarter.

    • On the spending side, the gain in GDP was driven by a 2.4% rise in gross fixed capital formation (revised up from a prior estimate of 1.3%. A 3.3% climb in business investment volume was the main reason for this.

    • Consumer spending volume, in contrast, was unchanged while government spending and net trade dragged output lower.

    • Also published today were the June estimates of UK house prices from the Nationwide Building Society. These showed that house prices were fairly stable over the month, rising by a modest 0.1%, reversing a 0.1% m/m decline in May. On a year-on-year basis, however, prices fell by 3.5% after a 3.4% decline in May.

  • United Kingdom
    | Jun 23 2023

    UK Retail Sales Post a Positive Surprise

    Today’s UK retail sales data were consistent with a trend toward slower consumer spending though not as slow as many UK economists had expected.

    Some of the key points from this report were as follows-

    • Retail sales volume rose by 0.3% m/m in April, following a rise of 0.5% rise in April. The consensus forecast, however, was centred on a contraction of 0.2%m/m

    • The headline increase in retail sales volumes was predominantly driven by a rise in online activity which benefitted from an increase in demand for outdoor equipment and summer clothing. May also saw a return of growth in sales volume of fuel stores.

    • In contrast, food stores’ sales volume fell by 0.5% following a monthly gain of 0.6% in April.

  • The latest estimates for UK CPI inflation were firmer than expected in May. The headline inflation rate held steady while core inflation continued to rise. This will pile pressure on the Bank of England to raise its benchmark interest rate more aggressively in the weeks ahead.

    The key elements of note from this data release were as follows-

    • The consumer price inflation rate rose to 8.7% In May, maintaining its level from the previous month and exceeding the consensus forecast for a drop to 8.4%.

    • On a monthly basis, the headline CPI index rose by 0.7% m/m in May after a climb of 1.2% in April.

    • Much of the upward pressure on inflation came from a rise in prices for air travel, second-hand cars as well as recreational and cultural goods.

    • Core inflation (which excludes energy, food, alcohol and tobacco) surged by 7.1% in the 12 months to May, up from 6.8% in April and the highest rate since March 1992.

    • However, while core inflation rose, there was a slight easing in food price inflation which slowed to 18.4% yr/yr in May, after 19.1% in April.

    • The inflation rate for goods fell to 9.7% in May, after 10.0% in April, largely as a result of a further fall in energy prices.

    • Meanwhile, services inflation climbed by 7.4% in the year to May, up from 6.9% in April. This may be of particular concern to the Bank of England given the sensitivity of service sector inflation to wage pressures.

    • Brighter news emerged today, however, from May’s release of producer price inflation. Specifically, headline output prices fell 0.5% m/m in May (after a downward revision to the previous month’s figures to -0.2% m-o-m), while core output prices were down 0.3% m/m and input prices fell 1.5% m/m.

  • United Kingdom
    | Jun 14 2023

    UK economy returns to growth in April

    The latest estimates for UK GDP growth suggest the economy picked up again in April. That said, the UK’s growth performance remains choppy and uneven and downside risks remain acute.

    The highlights of this report were as follows:

    • In April, the UK economy grew by 0.2%m/m, which mostly offset a decline of 0.3% in March. This was in line with UK economists’ expectations.

    • Looking at the three-month period leading up to April, GDP grew by 0.1%, matching the pedestrian rate of growth chalked up over the previous three months.

    • The growth in output in April was mainly driven by the services sector, which saw a 0.3% increase in output following a 0.5% decline in March.
    • More specifically, output in consumer-facing services grew by 1.0% in April, reversing the 0.8% decline seen in March. The food and beverage service sector played a significant role in this bounce-back.

    • In contrast, output contracted in other key component sectors such as production and construction. Specifically, industrial production fell by 0.3% in April after an increase of 0.7% in March. The construction sector in the meantime saw a 0.6% decline in output in April following a 0.2% rise in March.

  • Today’s UK data revealed a still-tight labour market thanks to evidence showing another drop in the unemployment rate and an acceleration in nominal wage growth. This will increase concerns that the Bank of England will hike interest rates again in the coming weeks in order to quell inflationary pressures.

    Noteworthy details of the report were as follows-

    • The unemployment rate decreased from 3.9% in the three months to March to 3.8% in the three months to April, defying UK economists’ expectations for an increase to 4.0%.

    • The employment rate exhibited positive growth, reaching 76% in the latest quarter compared to 75.9% in the previous three months. That increase propelled the number of people employed to a new record high, surpassing pre-pandemic levels for the first time.

    • The estimated number of job vacancies fell by 79k on a quarterly basis, resulting in a total of 1051K vacancies. This marks the 11th consecutive period with a decrease in vacancies.

    • As for wages, both average total pay (including bonuses) and regular pay exceeded economists’ predictions. Average total pay saw growth of 6.5% in the three months to April, while regular pay saw a larger climb of 7.2%. That said, real wage growth, (i.e. adjusted for inflation) continued to lag behind and fell by 2.0%y/y.

    • The economic inactivity rate fell by 0.4 percentage points to 21.0% in the three months to April. That decline was largely driven by those inactive for other reasons and those looking after family or home. Meanwhile, those inactive because of long-term sickness increased to a record high.

  • 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.