Brendan Keenan: Mixed signals from the economic data
There was never going to be a simple recovery from deep recession but nor is a straightforward ‘double dip’ likely
THERE was more than even the usual confusion over the economic omens last week, with perhaps the densest fog enveloping the Bank of England’s quarterly inflation report on Wednesday.
Not that anyone bothers too much about inflation these days — although Britain has plenty of it. The biggest change in the report was the forecast that it would be sometime in 2012 before UK inflation falls below the official ceiling of 2 per cent. At present, inflation is well above that — June saw a small reduction to 3.2 per cent.
Note that this is the harmonised EU rate of inflation, which tends to be lower because it does not include housing costs. Why those benighted fools in the last Irish Government did not immediately follow Britain’s switch to this measure — known here as HICP — is an utter mystery.