UK BRC Sales Like-For-Like (Apr) Y/Y -3.3% vs. Exp. 0.6% (Prev. 1.3%) (Sources)
April saw the wettest weather on record for that month and consumers were reluctant to spend in April, dampening retail sales. The drop is the biggest fall since March of last year.
Figures have pointed to a slowdown in the rise of food prices. The BRC have reported recorded food inflation slowing sharply from the 5.4% recorded in March to 4.3% in April. (Guardian)
Jobs in London's financial district may fall to a revised estimate of 255,000 in 2012 compared with 288,000 predicted six months ago, according to the CEBR. The figure makes the lowest number since Q1 1996, as the Eurozone crisis takes its toll on The City. (Sources)
UK PM Cameron has argued that his government's spending cuts are not a programme of austerity, but a drive for efficiency, in an effort to regain voter trust. (FT-More)
The policy chairman for the City of London has warned that fresh regulation of financial services poses a danger to businesses if they are imposed without a full understanding of the economic consequences. (FT-More)
The Queen is set to present plans today to mark the state opening of parliament in which PM Cameron will attempt to draw a line under last week's local-election defeats by outlining legislative plans to boost growth and cut debt. (WSJ) The Queen's Speech will include plans to reform the banking sector and reference plans to give shareholders more power over executive pay.
Gieve, head of financial stability at the BoE during the financial crisis, suggested strict oversight of the banks was making recovery harder to establish and that the softer policy options of the US were working better. While expressing moral support for the bank crackdown, he argued that policymakers should instead be focusing on how to re-establish growth. (Telegraph)
The MPC could add another GBP 25bln programme of quantitative easing when it meets on Thursday. As only last month rising inflation was deemed to be sufficient to deter the MPC. (Guardian) Analysts at Capital Economics believe there is a distinct possibility the QE total will soon be GBP 350bln, calling the autumn as a likely moment. Investec, however, think this week, according to their analysis that in the situation of "sticky inflation versus stuck economy" the committee will worry more about low growth than an inflation rate that is taking longer to come down than it predicted.
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