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UK Inflation Hits BoE’s 2% Target – FTSE 100 Index Takes Slight Dip

Analyst Team trader
Updated 19 Jun 2024

In a significant development for the UK economy, inflation has decelerated to the Bank of England’s target of 2% for the first time after almost three years. According to the latest figures, the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) saw a downturn from April's 2.3% to 2% in May. This slowdown marks the gentlest pace of price increases since July 2021, primarily influenced by reductions in the cost increases for specific sectors such as food, beverages, and household goods.

Economists and investors have monitored the CPI closely, as it is a critical indicator of economic health and purchasing power and has an impact on stock markets.

The current dip in CPI stems from weaker pressures in various industry segments; notably, food and soft drinks prices augmented by just 1.7% in the twelve months to May, a drop from April's 2.9% increase and the most modest rate recorded since October 2021. Similarly, the sectors of recreation, culture, and furniture also contributed to easing inflation, reflecting a less aggressive price ascent for consumers.

The falling inflation harbours potential implications for monetary policy. The Bank of England, which has been battling the highest inflation rates in decades that peaked at 11.1% in October 2022, now encounters a different economic landscape. With inflation reaching a steadier level, the conversation could shift towards the likelihood of an interest rate cut this summer to support economic growth, a move that stands in stark contrast to the hikes considered necessary just a few months ago.

As European stocks experience a nonuniform trajectory with the FTSE 100 index witnessing slight dips (down 0.24%), market analysts will be contemplating the UK's progression towards a more controlled inflation environment and the subsequent monetary policy actions by the Bank of England. On a day where the US markets will be closed for Juneteenth, we can typically expect a lighter volume.

The decline in inflation raises questions about the potential for broader economic recovery and the stabilization of consumer prices, which will be closely watched in the coming months.

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The AskTraders Analyst Team features experts in technical and fundamental analysis, as well as traders specializing in stocks, forex, and cryptocurrency.