Tuesday, 15 May 2007

UK factory gate inflation eases, leading index rises

Yesterday's UK data could perhaps be used to justify a pause in the Bank of England's tightening campaign.

UK producer price inflation was relatively subdued in April. From Reuters:

Manufacturers' raw material costs rose less than expected in April while factory gate inflation eased after a strong pick-up in March, official data showed on Monday... Input prices rose 0.7 percent in April against forecasts for a 1.0 percent rise while core output prices gained just 0.1 percent, well below the 0.3 percent forecast.

Reuters also reports that house price growth was still strong in April.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors said its house prices balance rose to +28.9 in the three months to April from an upwardly revised +26.9 in March. Analysts had predicted a reading of +24.

But the strength in the housing market could be about to abate.

Surveyor confidence in house prices in the next three months fell to its lowest since September 2005 in April and they were their least upbeat about the prospect for future sales since September 2004.

On the other hand, the Conference Board's UK leading index shows that the economy appears to be in no particular need for additional stimulus.

The Conference Board announced today that the leading index for the U.K increased 0.6 percent, and the coincident index increased 0.1 percent in March...

With the 0.6 percent increase in March, the leading index now stands at 141.3 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.8 percent in February and increased 0.3 percent in January. During the six-month span through March, the leading index increased 2.0 percent, with six of the eight components advancing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 62.5 percent).

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