British Job, CPI Data Point to Weakness
With Christmas just around the corner, it continues to be a busy week for British indicators. Consumer inflation remained steady at 1.5%, edging above the forecast of 1.4 percent. Still, this remains well off the BoE inflation target of 2%. These past two readings mark the lowest monthly inflation levels since November 2016, as economic conditions in the U.K. remain subdued. Thursday promises to be busy, with the release of retail sales and the Bank of England rate decision. Analysts expect retail sales to rebound in November with a gain of 0.3%, while the BoE is expected to stay on the sidelines and hold interest rates at 0.75 percent.
The tepid inflation data came on the heels of disappointing employment data, which was weaker than expected. Wage growth slowed to 3.2% in October, down from 3.4% in the previous release. This marked the weakest gain since April. Unemployment claims dropped to 28.8 thousand, compared to 33.0 thousand a month earlier. Still, this was much higher than the forecast of 21.2 thousand.