Citigroup Forecasts the UK Inflation Rate to Return to 2% by Autumn, Creating Hope for the Country.
Inflation has been a major concern for the UK economy, with the rate surging to double-digit figures in January 2022. However, Citigroup’s recent UK inflation forecast provides a glimmer of hope for the country, as the bank predicts inflation to fall to close to 2% by the end of the year.
The projections by the US-based investment bank, released on Wednesday, predict that the country’s consumer price inflation will fall to 2.3% in November, significantly lower than the Bank of England’s forecast of around 4% for the same period. The Citigroup forecast has been attributed to a rapid fall in gas prices, which, in turn, is expected to result in a lower energy price cap in the 4th quarter of this year.
Benjamin Nabarro, Citi’s chief UK economist, has stated that faster reduction in inflation reflects an easing in pricing pressures, primarily in energy. The fall in energy prices is due to wholesale gas prices, which have dropped by over 80% since last August, with the price of UK gas for delivery in September halving in the past two months from £2.60 a therm to £1.26 a therm. The reductions in energy prices are expected to translate into a lower energy price cap in the fourth quarter of this year, which is expected to pull down inflation.
Citigroup forecasts for the UK economy are a relief to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s government, which has been dealing with inflation concerns for months. The inflation rate in January was at a staggering 10.1%, which, if not controlled, could have led to a rise in UK interest rates and slowed the economic recovery. The fall in inflation will, therefore, make it easier for the government to tackle public sector strikes over pay and fulfil its promise of halving inflation by the end of the year.
Citigroup has used various economic indicators and trends for UK inflation forecasts. The analysis is based on a range of factors, including changes in the price of gas, retail prices, and other economic variables. Citigroup’s analysis focuses on energy prices, which are known to be volatile and can cause significant changes in inflation.
If you need some ideas about what to read next, here they are:
- FTSE to Review Index Changes for Adani Group Stocks after MSCI takes an Impactful Decision!
- Investors Fear the Rising Interest Rates on European Stock Markets- Check Out Why
- Big Four Banks of Australia Lose Ground as CBA Issues a Credit Slowdown Warning
According to Nabarro, the rapid decline in inflation is also expected to limit the cost of servicing the UK’s inflation-linked government debt. The forecast is that retail price index inflation used to uprate £560bn of inflation-linked government debt, is likely to fall rapidly. Nabarro expects the RPI measure of inflation to drop from the current rate of 13.4% to 4.3% in the fourth quarter of this year, well below the Office for Budget Responsibility’s November forecast of 6.3% towards the end of 2023.
The return to 2% inflation has important implications for the UK economy and financial markets. The Bank of England is expected to keep interest rates on hold until inflation returns to target, which could significantly impact the economy. If inflation returns to 2%, this Autumn inflation rate could help the Bank of England to decide to increase UK interest rates slowly, reducing the risk of a sudden economic shock.
In conclusion, Citigroup’s UK inflation forecast, returning to 2% by autumn, comes as a relief to the country’s economy. The fall in inflation, attributed to reduced gas prices, is expected to help the government tackle public sector strikes over pay and fulfil its promise of halving inflation by the end of the year. Citigroup’s analysis of the UK economy and various economic indicators and trends helps provide insights into the country’s economic recovery.