Figures from the Office for National Statistics today showed that factory prices remained virtually ...
Figures from the Office for National Statistics today showed that factory prices remained virtually unchanged in July compared with June, indicating that manufacturing companies are facing an ongoing squeeze on earnings as the economic cycle refuses to show clear signs of turning around.
Falls in petroleum product prices in particular helped keep inflation in check, leaving the way open for the Bank of England to retain its current low interest rates.
Even excluding petroleum products, food, beverages and tobacco, the factory output price index rose just 0.5% in the year to July.
Most economists firmly believe that interest rates will now remain at current levels through the rest of the year, with a few saying that rates could fall again.
Interest rate futures are currently selling at around 3.8%, indicating a market belief that rates could go down by December.
The increase in minimum AE contributions has had little impact on opt-out rates - with cessations after April increasing by less than two percentage points, data from The Pensions Regulator (TPR) shows.
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