From today’s BBC news business pages today:
Surprise hike in consumer prices
The rising price of imported goods – particularly fruit, vegetables and toys – has caused an unexpected rise in one measure of UK inflation. The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) was pushed up to an annual rate of 3.2% in February, from 3% a month earlier.
But a sharp fall in mortgage repayments caused the Retail Prices Index (RPI), which includes housing costs, to fall to zero for the first time in 49 years. Economists had predicted that both measures of inflation would fall.
Hetal Mehta, senior economic advisor to the Ernst & Young Item Club, said: "It is surprising to see CPI inflation increasing when a sharp fall was widely expected."
Surprise? Unexpected? Good Lord almighty! With the poor old beleaguered Sterling plunging from €1.40 to €1.05 , what the hell did our feeble-brained, so-called professional economists expect? The prices of all those French cheeses and Golden Tasteless apples, along with all the out-of-season Spanish vegetables, have been shooting through the roof recently. On top of that, our dear old Sterling has plunged from $1.90 to $1.45, even though it was America that caused this disastrous worldwide financial fiasco. My mother is 91 and she sure as hell noticed day to day living expenses rising markedly. Anyone who spends any time regularly shopping for food with their brain in gear would have been feeling the familiar painful twinge of inflation in their pockets.
Hetal Mehta, who sounds like a far better anagram (health team?) than he does senior economic adviser, must be one very out-of-touch puppy. Were I Ernst & Young, I’d be looking for a replacement. There are countless cheaper people out there who can get things that badly wrong.
Poor old Joe Public’s cause is clearly completely hopeless. All is lost. Not only must we suffer at the hands of incompetent banking professionals who lose our money but the economists have IQs somewhere south of 100, too.
[Aside: By the way, what on earth is the once revered BBC doing beginning a paragraph with a conjunction; not just a sentence, if you please, but a whole new paragraph? Where are today’s custodians of English grammar? It makes me weep.]