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Retail prices

Retail price inflation plunges to 1.5% and CPI is also below 1%

The latest inflation figures cover the month to April 2020, showing that the impact of the coronavirus crisis has been to push inflation down.
In March, the Retail Prices Index (RPI) stood at 292.6 (January 1987=100) and the annual rate of inflation plunged to 1.5% from 2.6% in March. This is the measure preferred by trade unionists.

Inflation has been somewhat affected by goods and services unavailable due to the lockdown and by the temporary closure of the housing market.
Falling petrol and diesel prices, plus lower energy bills, were the main drivers pushing inflation lower.

But the prices of games and toys rose, which may be due to people spending more time at home. Long-life food products - such as cook-in sauces and frozen fish - also saw price hikes.

Under the Consumer Prices Index Housing (CPIH), the annual rate of inflation in April was down to 0.9% from 1.5% in March.

The annual rate of inflation under the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) in April was also down to 0.8% from 1.5%.

Figures for May 2020 are due to be published on 17 June 2020.

Latest pay deals

2.5% pay increase in the three months to April 2020

The median increase in pay in the three months to April 2020 was 2.5%. The median increase in the lowest pay rate was also 2.5%.

However However coronavirus has led to many pay negotiations being put on hold, so these figures are based on fewer pay settlements than normal, with a higher proportion of settlements from multi-stage multi-year agreements.

Figures for May 2020 are due to be published on 17 June 2020.

Pay deals are calculated from Payline database of over 2,000 pay and conditions settlements. graph of pay settlements and inflation

Average earnings

Growth down to 2.4%

In the year to March 2020, average weekly earnings for the whole economy, excluding bonuses, provisionally increased by 2.4%, down from the 2.7% increase for February.

Growth in the March headline rate (the latest three-month average) for regular pay, excluding bonuses, was 2.7% against 2.9% for February, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Headline average earnings growth in manufacturing was down to just 1.5% from 2.4% in March, while in services growth fell to 2.5% from 3.2%.

In the private sector as a whole, growth was down to 2.2% from 2.8%.

In the public sector, excluding financial services, growth increased to 3.3% from 3.2%.

Figures for April 2020 are due to be published on 16 June 2020.


Unemployment decreases slightly over 3 month period but claimant count way up

Labour Force Survey estimates cover the period ending March 2020, they are based on interviews, most of which occurred prior to the coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown.

In the three-month period ending March 2020, UK unemployment actually decreased by 16,000 to 1,348,000 from 1,364,000 for the previous three-month period ending February 2020.

For January to March 2020, an estimated 1.35 million people were unemployed.
The unemployment rate also decreased from 4% to 3.9%.

The Office for National Statistic's claimant count total includes people out of work and claiming Jobseeker's Allowance or Universal Credit.

In April 2020, under this experimental statistic, the claimant count provisionally increased by 69.1% The region with the largest monthly increase was the South West, which increased by 97.9%, while the West Midlands had the smallest increase of 50.9%. The
The total rose to 2,096,603 from the revised figure for March of 1,240,122.
The claimant rate shot up to 5.8% from 3.5%.

Figures for April (unemployment) and May (claimant count) are due to be published on 16 June 2020.

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