Published: Thu, April 13, 2017
Markets | By Terence Owen

Rwanda's Inflation Rate Eases to 7.7 Percent in March

Rwanda's Inflation Rate Eases to 7.7 Percent in March

The latest pay data from the ONS shows average nominal wages rising at an annual rate of 2.2 per cent in the three months to January, which together with the inflation figures confirms that on average real wages are falling again.

Clothing and footwear price tags were also on the rise last month, climbing by 2 per cent between February and March in contrast to a 1 per cent climb previous year. Meanwhile, non-food inflation inched up to 2.3 percent after rising 2.2 percent in the prior month.

In terms of month-on-month data, Chinese inflation fell 0.3 per cent, as compared to the 0.2 per cent dip in February.

Chinese consumer prices rose at a subdued pace for a second month in March, held back by cheap food, clothing and other manufactured goods. The pound weakened following last year's referendum decision for Britain to leave the European Union.

Chinese consumer price inflation remains weak, and it looks like the rebound in factory-gate prices is now also past its peak.

Wednesday's reading follows data showing a further expansion in factory activity driven by a pickup in production and demand last month, while economic growth came in slightly better than expected at the end of 2016.

Compared to same period of 2016 air fare inflation dived 22.8%, reflecting an Easter weekend price spike which falls in April this year.

Fuel pump prices were also dragging on CPI.

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A more timely unemployment measure of the March claimant count showed a fall of 25,500 to 765,400, the Office for National Statistics said, with the claimant count rate of 2.2% up from 2.1%.

Nina Skero, managing economist at the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr), said households will increasingly feel the pinch as wage growth struggles to keep up with inflation.

"With the prices of essentials such as housing costs, food and transport on the rise, less money will be left over for discretionary spending".

"The continued weakness of core wage growth bolsters the view of the majority of monetary policy committee members that interest rates do not need to rise this year in order to combat inflation".

The combination of a sterling-induced inflation surge and lackluster wage growth is eating into the spending power of consumers, the engine of the British economy.

Experts said the unchanged reading for March was likely to prove temporary with fresh price hikes including higher utility bills set to push CPI upwards this month.

He adds it is worth remembering that CPI in the USA is only just creeping up, despite wages increasing in response to a stronger labour market.

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