New Era Ahead with No More Inflation, Wage or Price Rises

The Birmingham Post (England), December 21, 1998 | Go to article overview

New Era Ahead with No More Inflation, Wage or Price Rises


The annual wage rise could soon be a thing of the past with the British economy set to plunge further and the likelihood of inflation disappearing altogether, a leading economic institute forecasts today.

A report from the Centre for Economics and Business Research predicted that underlying inflation in the UK would fall from its current level of 2.5 per cent to minus 0.2 per cent in 2002.

Mr Douglas McWilliams, chief executive of the CEBR, said: "Inflation took off in the 1970s on the back of inflationary wage increases and rising oil and commodity prices. Now all these factors are going into reverse and, as a result, inflation is likely to disappear. Although technically we are only forecasting zero or negative inflation for 2001 and 2002, the phenomenon is likely to persist beyond then.

"This will be a new world for most people working today. In the future we will no longer be able to think in terms of the annual wage and price increases."

Ms Janice Clark, an economist with the CEBR, said that once Britain slipped into negative inflation it was likely to persist for several years.

She said: "With prices falling, consumers will not be spending money on the High Street, but saving money to buy goods when they are cheaper, which will obviously impact on manufacturing and the economy. …

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