An Index of US and UK Economic Realities
US Consumer Price Index stable, 3.2% YoY increase. UK faces job decline, 7.7% pay growth. Swiss prices rise 0.2%, driven by energy.
In October, the U.S. Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) held steady after a 0.4 percent increase in September, as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Over the past year, the overall index rose by 3.2 percent.
Sector-wise Impact in the US
While the shelter index continued to climb, offsetting a drop in the gasoline index and maintaining a stable adjusted index, the energy index saw a 2.5 percent decline due to a 5.0-percent drop in the gasoline. The food index increased by 0.3 percent in October, with a 0.3 percent rise for food at home and a 0.4 percent increase for food away from home.
US Consumer Price Index (CPI-U) Stability
Excluding food and energy, the index rose by 0.2 percent in October, slightly lower than the 0.3 percent increase in September. Notable increases were observed in rent, owners’ equivalent rent, motor vehicle insurance, medical care, recreation, and personal care. Conversely, lodging away from home, used cars and trucks, communication, and airline fares saw decreases.
US 12-Month Index Overview
Over the past 12 months, the all items increased by 3.2 percent, slightly lower than the 3.7-percent rise in September. The all items less food and energy index rose by 4.0 percent, marking its smallest 12-month change since September 2021. The energy index decreased by 4.5 percent, while the food index increased by 3.3 percent over the same period.
UK Labor Market Dynamics
In the August to October 2023 period, the UK witnessed a decline of 58,000 vacancies, marking the 16th consecutive quarter of falling vacancies across 16 out of 18 industry sectors. Annual growth in regular pay in Great Britain was 7.7%, slightly lower than previous periods but still among the highest since 2001. Annual growth in total pay, including bonuses, reached 7.9%, impacted by one-off Civil Service payments in July and August. In real terms, adjusting for inflation, total pay rose by 1.4%, and regular pay by 1.3%.
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UK Labor Disputes and Payroll
Labour disputes led to 229,000 working days lost in September 2023, primarily in health, social work, and education. UK payrolled employee growth for September was revised from a reported decrease of 11,000 to an increase of 32,000. The October estimate of payrolled employees increased by 33,000 to 30.2 million.
Alternative UK Employment Indicators
Due to increased uncertainty in Labour Force Survey estimates, alternative figures using Pay As You Earn Real-Time Information and the Claimant Count show a 0.1 percentage point decrease in the UK employment rate to 75.7%, an unchanged unemployment rate of 4.2%, and a stable economic inactivity rate at 20.9% for July to September 2023.
Swiss Price Trends and Movements
According to the Swiss Federal Statistical Office’s report on 14th November 2023, the Producer and Import Price in Switzerland increased by 0.2% in October 2023 compared to the previous month, reaching 108.8 points (December 2020 = 100). This uptick was mainly driven by higher prices in petroleum, natural gas, and petroleum products. On the flip side, electrical equipment and metal products experienced price reductions.
Producer Price Index
In the broader context, when compared to October 2022, the overall price level for both domestic and imported products decreased by 0.9%. The growth in the producer price index for the month was attributed to increased prices for petroleum products, electronic components, and watches, while prices for electrical equipment, steel, and light metal frameworks declined.
Import Price Index Fluctuations
The import price index showed an increase in prices compared to September 2023, notably for petroleum, natural gas, and petroleum products. Additionally, higher prices were observed for non-ferrous metals and related products, whereas computer, electronic and optical products, machinery, metal products, and electrical equipment became more affordable.
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