- Britain’s inflation showed signs of cooling off as it dropped to 10.1% last month.
- The ONS had earlier projected that the CPI inflation would be around 9.8%.
- The experts are predicting the Bank of England could raise the interest rate during its next meeting on 11 May.
After reeling under high inflation for the past two months, inflation in Britain’s inflation showed signs of cooling off as it dropped to 10.1% last month as per the official figures released on Wednesday. This, however, is still higher than the anticipated figure. The inflation peaked after a couple of months of cooling off to 10.4% in February due to the soaring food prices.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) had earlier projected the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) inflation would drop to 9.8%. However, with the inflation levels still hovering above the 10% mark, it is trailing well below when compared to similar other economies due to UK’s reliance on natural gas for energy purposes.
Another factor is the sharp rise in the overall cost-of-living. In fact, the food prices alone have spiked 19% in the year to March. Besides, the consumer housing costs also stood at 8.9% in the 12 months to March 2023.
According to the ONS, the largest spike in the annual CPIH inflation rate came in March this year due to rising energy prices and food and non-alcoholic beverages. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt, concluded that the ONS figures once again reiterated the need for continued efforts to work towards driving down inflation.
Interest rates on cards?
The latest figures have raised fears of an interest rate hike by the Bank of England (BoE). The experts are predicting another interest rate hike that could touch 5%. The interest rate currently sits at 4.25%, but after the ONS’s findings, the Central Bank’s monetary policy committee is already exploring the option of increasing it to 4.5% when the committee next meets on 11 May.
With the households still struggling to cope with the pressures on their finances for the coming months, policymakers will be keen to see a return to the expected cooling price pattern. Amid this, let’s explore some of the LSE-listed growth stocks.
Asos plc (LON: ASC): One of the leading online fashion and beauty retailers operating in Britain, Asos Plc’s, sales dipped early in the year. The higher cost-of-living crisis coupled with rising inflation too did play a role as consumers preferred to stay away from spending on non-essentials.
Asos plc’s shares on 21 April was trading at GBX 760.60, down by 0.37% at the time of market opening. The FTSE-250 constituent held a market cap of £757.91 million as of Friday, and it has offered its investors negative returns of -46.08% in the one year.
Ocado Group plc (LON: OCDO): Another FTSE-250 constituent, Ocado Group Plc, boasted of a market cap of £4,286.10 million as of 21 April 2023. The online grocery retailer on Friday was trading at GBX 517 and was down by 0.31% at the time of writing.
OCDO stock so far has given its investors negative returns of -52.18% and -16.12% on one-year and YTD basis, respectively.
Investec plc (LON: INVP)
The FTSE-250 banking and wealth management company firm, Investec plc, offers a variety of financial products and services to its customers across the globe.
Investec plc, on 21 April was trading at GBX 444.30 and was down by 0.40% as on 21 April 2023. The current market cap of the FTSE 250 Index constituent stands at £ 2,915.70 million with a Turnover (on book) of £157,117.65.
The INVP stock has given its investors returns of -13.04% and -4.17% on YTD and one-year basis.