Pricing the cost of living

Posted by: Paul Donovan

20 Jul 2022 2 min read
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Daily update

  • UK June consumer price data is due. It may seem pedantic, but this is not a cost of living measure. UK consumers have been shifting consumption patterns to try and consume more cheaply—shopping at discount retailers, driving less, etc.—so the cost of living is a little lower than consumer price data suggests. Nonetheless, 99% of UK workers are experiencing falling real incomes (using CPI).
  • UK prices are following some international trends. UK durable goods price inflation has started to slow, although not as dramatically as in the US. As demand for durable goods has weakened, pricing power and thus inflation have weakened. The pricing mechanism works, arguing against genuine stagflation.
  • German June producer price inflation is scheduled, but the current concern in Germany is shifting away from costs and towards supply reliability—in other words, will Russian gas be turned off?
  • US existing home sales are due—after weak new homes data, and a very weak NAHB housing index. Existing home sales contribute less to GDP (which is a measure of new economic activity). Nonetheless, real estate agents generate some economic worth, associated purchases of furniture and appliances add to GDP, and existing home sales may also signal consumer confidence and the impact of policy.

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