Blog: September 2021
With the close of the furlough scheme at the end of September, there are growing signs that older workers have remained stuck on furlough during the reopening while younger workers have returned comparatively swiftly to work. Experts have also warned that older workers may be more likely to face unemployment once the scheme ends, prompting fears among these workers that they will face long spells of joblessness or even be forced into early retirement.
Johnny Runge (Senior Social Researcher, NIESR) & Rose Lasko-Skinner (Demos)
“I just feel that some people are of the opinion that you’re not fired up, you’re not ambitious. I think it’s hard for someone to understand that… I’m nearly 60, but I’m still ambitious.” – Interview participant, woman, 59, working in retail, Yorkshire and the Humber.
Lockdown ended on 19 July; the furlough will end on 30 September. The economy is set to reach its pre-pandemic activity level, but the Bank of England’s extreme monetary accommodation appears to go on forever. It is past time for the Bank to act to bolster its credibility and to act to avoid un-anchoring inflation expectations.
Our recently published Global Economic Outlook included an upward revision to our projections for global GDP growth this year and next. Across countries, however, there is considerable divergence in the projected dates at which they will recover their pre-pandemic GDP levels. Output has already recovered its level from before the pandemic struck in China and the US. But the US is the only one of the G7 economies to have achieved that so far.
CPI inflation rose by a large amount (1.2%) and is now at 3.2%. Part of this increase was due to the “base effect” of the 0.4% fall in inflation last year (July-August 2020) dropping out of annual inflation. The fall in July-August 2020 reflected the Eat out to Help out Scheme and the reduction in VAT for the hospitality sector. However, in addition to this was a very large element of new inflation, with prices rising by 0.7% between July and August.
Despite the headline CPI running at 5 1/2 percent in June and July, the 12-month trimmed mean PCE which excludes outliers is reported for June and July at 2 percent, and its monthly annualized rate fell from 3.1 percent in May to 2.4 percent in June, returning to 3.2 percent in July.