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Daily update

  • The UK British Retail Consortium's shop price index rose on food prices. The accompanying commentary was textbook for profit-led inflation. Poor harvests and sugar prices were blamed. When profits (rather than demand) lead inflation, retailers need to have a story that convinces consumers that the price increases are "fair". Consumers mistakenly think food prices are related to agricultural prices, which conveniently hides things like the 50% increase in the markup on consumer milk prices in recent months. 
  • Bank of England Governor Bailey said more interest rate increases would come through if inflation persisted. The problem is that the impact of rate increases on profit-led inflation are slower and weaker than with demand-led inflation. Bailey also commented on the need for speed in reacting to banking problems in the social media age. 
  • French business confidence is due. This is unlikely to have been affected by the recent protests, but earlier strike action will be incorporated. However French businesses can adapt to strike action (they have had some practice). 
  • US Conference Board consumer confidence may capture some of the sentiment following banking problems, but popular opinion was not necessarily engrossed in the bank failures. Deposit shifts have favoured larger banks, which have driven recent credit card lending.

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