A much-anticipated report released by the Labor Department last Wednesday showed consumer prices in the United States rose 0.5% in December to push last year’s cost of living increase to 7%. . This is the highest in almost 40 years and indicates that high inflation is expected to persist through 2022.
The gain in the consumer price index exceeded the 0.4% forecast by economists.
Core consumer price inflation, which excludes volatility in food and energy prices, rose 0.6% last month, the report said. That pushed the increase over the past 12 months to 5.5% from 4.9% – a 31-year high.
Inflation has soared in recent months due to strong customer demand and ongoing labor and supply shortages, prompting the Federal Reserve to signal it will tighten conditions money sooner than expected.
Meanwhile, UK lenders expect demand for secured loans to fall in the first quarter, while demand for unsecured loans is expected to rise, the latest Bank of England credit conditions survey showed on Thursday. . Lenders have seen a drop in demand for secured loans for home purchases in the three months to the end of November and it is expected to decline further in the next quarter.
Meanwhile, demand for unsecured loans increased in the fourth quarter and is expected to improve further over the next three months. In the overall figure, demand for credit card loans and other unsecured loans increased in the fourth quarter.
Finally, Chinese inflation eased in December on the back of lower food and commodity prices, with analysts saying Wednesday’s figures give policymakers a chance to launch measures to revive the economy by half-mast, in particular interest rate cuts.
Consumer price inflation slowed to 1.5% in December from 2.3% in November, the National Bureau of Statistics said. The rate should slow to 1.8%. Food prices fell by 1.2% compared to the previous year and non-food prices increased by 2.1%. Core inflation remained stable at 1.2%.
This report has been prepared by Bank of Valletta plc for general information purposes only.
Independent journalism costs money. Support Times of Malta for the price of a coffee.