Rising… Rising Covid-19 cases worldwide have raised alarm bells and encouraged new restrictions in a number of countries[i]; rising inflationary pressures have highlighted the risk of a global equities sell-off[ii]; rising supply chain bottlenecks are already hitting global growth and threatening to get worse[iii]; rising energy prices due to tightening balance in the market are impacting consumers; rising UK house prices that recently exceeded £250k for the first time[iv].
Chart of the month: Inflation jumped to 4.2% in October – the highest level in a decade
Source: Office for National Statistics (ONS), BBC, Blend Network
Politics & Economics
- A sharp rise in Covid-19 cases in Europe have raised alarms that the UK could also see significant increases in cases this winter. Last week infection rates rose by 88% in part of southwest England, making it the area with the highest case rate in the country[v].
- Spooked by rising covid-19 hospitalisations, Austria introduced a lockdown for anyone over the age of 12 who has not been fully vaccinated. Germany also introduced new restrictions for the unvaccinated in those areas where hospitalization rate is too high[vi].
- The UK’s annual inflation rate jumped to 4.2% in October, the highest level in a decade and up from 3.1% in September. This was mostly due to higher energy cost and supply-chain shortages, but a tightening labour market has added to inflationary pressures[vii].
- The UK job market continued to boom despite the end of furlough. Headline unemployment rate dropped to 4.3% in the three months to the end of September[viii].
- According to the Nationwide House Price Index, the price of a typical UK home has exceeded £250,000 for the first time. Annual house price growth remained close to double digits for the sixth month in a row in October (9.9%) but eased back from 10.0% in September and 11.0% in August. October price was up by 0.7% month-on-month[ix].
- The latest RICS Residential Market Survey published in September shows a steady trend in buyer demand, following a brief deceleration in the wake of the flurry of activity seen prior to the phasing out of the Stamp Duty holiday[x].
- The S&P 500 notched its 66th all-time high of 2021 last week, with the benchmark gauge poised for the second-biggest number of annual records ever this year – only behind 1995. Big tech stocks have driven the performance of equity market indices[xi].
FX & Commodities
- A pickup in global crude oil supply led to analysts’ expectation that price relief would be on the horizon. According to the International Energy Agency’s latest market report, oil supplies jumped by 1.4m barrels per day in October. The agency said it expected a further 1.5m barrels per day increase over November and December, with the US expected to provide more of that increase than any other country[xii].
- In the UK, three more energy suppliers collapsed last week, Bulb Energy, Neon Reef and Social Energy Supply, taking the total number of suppliers to have collapsed since the start of September to 22 and affecting a total of more than two million customers[xiii].
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[i] Source: https://bbc.in/3qWAwYr
[ii] Source: https://bit.ly/3DBsAiN
[iii] Source: https://econ.st/3x756j5
[iv] Source: https://bit.ly/3oHQlzp
[v] Source: https://bit.ly/3D5QLFO
[vi] Source: https://bit.ly/3DabloL
[vii] Source: https://bloom.bg/30ClkVT
[viii] Source: https://cnn.it/3x1KRmS
[ix] Source: https://bit.ly/3oMt4
[x] Source: https://cnb.cx/3FA4Xb9
[xi] Source: https://bit.ly/3CzrpPJ
[xii] Source: https://cnb.cx/3FusLwN
[xiii] Source: https://bit.ly/3D5QLFO