I was driving to a client meeting the other day and listening to some financial news on the radio. I was surprised to hear a prediction from Citibank that UK inflation would drop to around 2% later this year.
Subsequent Googling led me to an article from August last year where the same bank predicted 18% in early 2023. Clearly, they got that wrong, so perhaps the 2% prediction will also prove false, but clearly a stop to prices rising so outrageously fast would be good. To be fair to Citibank, they’re not the only people making such bold predictions – the asset manager Investec is currently predicting 1.6%!
A reduction in the rate of inflation won’t undo the rises seen over the last year or so. I’ve said before that we’re all going to feel poorer from now on because a household’s essential spending – the stuff you have no choice but to pay – has ballooned, and regrettably I think that statement remains true no matter what happens to inflation.
Funnily enough with all this talk of falling inflation, I see petrol prices have risen again. A few weeks ago, a litre of unleaded was £1.40-something and now it’s £1.50-something. I had no choice but to fill up on a motorway the other day and they wanted £1.74! Unusually for me, I put in just enough to get home to where my local Esso wouldn’t rip me off to the same degree.
Only time will tell what happens to inflation, let’s see if these predictions come true. In the meantime, I’m off to queue at Sainsbury’s for my ration of one tomato, plus one turnip, which I hear is really scrummy in a sandwich.