Bank to reveal inflation figures

Bank to reveal inflation figures


The Bank of England is to reveal inflation figures for November

Inflation figures for November will be the key economic highlight next week.

The Bank of England is unlikely to receive any relief from the stubbornly-high rate of inflation seen in recent months when the latest Consumer Prices Index (CPI) figures are released on Tuesday.

The Bank itself predicted a spike in inflation towards the end of the year in its quarterly forecast as commodity prices continue to soar.

Last month, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the consumer prices index rose to 3.2% and economists expect the rate to hold firm in November. But the Bank – which aims to bring inflation down to 2% – has insisted recently that current levels of inflation are down to temporary price shocks, such as food and petrol costs.

Meanwhile Carpetright, which reports interim results on Tuesday, has had a difficult start to the year with cautious consumers avoiding spending on big-ticket items. In its last trading update, the flooring firm warned like-for-like sales were down 7.3% in the UK and Ireland in the 12 weeks to October 23, compared with the 3.4% fall seen at the end of July.

Analysts expect the decline in revenues to hit profits in its interim results, which are predicted to come in at around £12 million, down from £13.9 million last year. The City will be looking for any changes in strategy to pick sales up, particularly after chairman and chief executive Lord Harris of Peckham warned current market conditions are likely to continue into next year.

And Premier Inn and Costa Coffee parent Whitbread is expected to continue its positive run this year when it gives its third quarter trading update on Tuesday. The firm has benefited from a strong performance at its budget hotel brand Premier Inn, which saw like-for-like sales soar 10.1% in the first half of the year.

Whitbread is expected to reveal further plans for expanding the hotel chain, after an advertising campaign fronted by comedian Lenny Henry and a £29 a room offer helped draw in customers.

The group, which also owns Costa Coffee and restaurants including Brewers Fayre, previously said it was prepared to increase the rate of new hotel openings and is expected to provide further details on Tuesday.

Whitbread posted a 28% increase in pre-tax profits of £151 million in the six months to September 2, on total revenues of £805 million. Premier Inn generates around a third of its profits. Numis Securities expects the entertainment firm to bring in full-year profits of £282.3 million, up from £239.1 million.

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