In response to rising bills and costs, workers have requested wage increases and businesses have raised prices, said Huw Pill, the Bank of England’s chief economist. He also noted that the UK inflation rate was 10.1% in the year ending March.
UK inflation, which has been persistently higher than the Bank of England’s target of 2%, slightly decreased to 10.1% in the year to March. However, this does not indicate a decrease in prices, but rather a slower increase.
The Bank of England’s role includes keeping inflation in check, and it has raised interest rates to combat rising prices. The idea is that higher borrowing costs will discourage spending, leading to reduced demand for goods and a slower pace of price increases.
As energy bills and food costs surge, many workers have been requesting pay increases to alleviate the burden on their budgets.
Despite the fact that job openings have decreased, they remain at levels not seen in decades, giving employees more leverage to demand higher wages. However, while wages have increased, they have not kept pace with inflation, resulting in a decline in people’s purchasing power.
According to Mr. Pill, the demand for pay increases by workers and businesses raising prices have contributed to inflation, leading to a further rise in prices across the economy. He added that individuals need to accept that they are worse off, considering the rising bills and expenses.
Huw Pill, the Bank of England’s chief economist, said on a podcast that people in the UK need to accept they are poorer and stop trying to maintain their real spending power by demanding higher wages and passing on higher costs to customers, as it contributes to inflation and further price rises in the economy. He made these comments on the Beyond Unprecedented podcast from Columbia Law School.
Huw Pill, the Bank of England’s chief economist, expressed in a podcast that there is a resistance to acknowledge that everyone is worse off, and instead people try to maintain their spending power by raising prices, wages or passing costs to others. He added that everyone needs to take their share of the economic burden and not try to shift it onto someone else.
“The pass-the-parcel game, that’s taking place here, is generating inflation, and this kind of inflation can continue,” he said.
According to Thomas Moore, a senior investment director at Abrdn, Mr Pill’s remarks suggest that he is attributing the rise in inflation to temporary factors and urging people to cooperate in bringing it down to the target rate of 2% by adjusting their wage expectations and settlement negotiations with their employers.
According to Thomas Moore, senior investment director at Abrdn, there has been a significant increase in the money supply due to the Covid pandemic under the Bank of England. This has led to a debate among monetarist economists as they believe the money supply is the primary cause of inflation, and there is a discussion about whether the inflation is due to one-off transitory factors or underlying issues of the money supply.
Other Bank of England officials have also cautioned about the impact of wage increases on inflation in the past.
In the past, Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey also cautioned against large pay rises to prevent uncontrolled inflation. However, his remarks were met with criticism from unions, and both Downing Street and the Treasury distanced themselves from his comments.
According to Abrdn’s Mr. Moore, the Bank of England’s goal is to convince individuals to moderate their wage demands, as core inflation – the type of inflation the Bank is most concerned about – is mainly driven by wages. Mr. Moore referred to this as a “tough bitter pill” that people will find difficult to swallow.
Inflation was projected to drop below 10% last month, but higher food prices resulted in a smaller decrease than anticipated. The British Retail Consortium anticipates a decline in food prices in the upcoming months; however, there is a delay of three to nine months before these price decreases will be evident in stores.
Source : bbc.com