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Equilibrium's finance and investment news roundup

As part of our roundup this week we bring news of UK inflation climbing to 1.0% in September, a full-year profits forecast cut from budget airline Ryanair, housebuilder Bellway warning of a price squeeze from suppliers and new findings showing that the self-employed are currently earning less than they did in 1995.


ONS: UK inflation climbed to 1.0% in September

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has revealed that the UK inflation rate climbed to 1.0% in September, representing a marked rise on the 0.6% recorded in August. Indeed, this was the biggest increase for more than two years and was greater than the 0.9% predicted by economists.

The ONS cited the rising cost of motor fuels and clothing, as well as overnight hotel stays, for the upwards movement.

It was also revealed that the Retail Prices Index measure of inflation, which includes mortgage interest payments, climbed from 1.8% in August to reach 2.0% in September. 

Ryanair cuts full-year profit forecast after sterling drop

Budget airline Ryanair has cut its full-year profits forecast, reducing it to €1.3 billion - €1.35 billion (£1.17 billion - £1.2 billion). This is 5% lower than its previous guidance, and the company cited the drop in the value of sterling - which has fallen by around 18% against the dollar following the European Union referendum - as the main reason for the drop.

It is anticipated that fares in the second half of 2016 will be sliced by between 13% and 15%. Chief Executive Michael O'Leary said: "The recent sharp decline in sterling post Brexit will weaken second half yields by slightly more than we had originally expected."

He added that Ryanair's revised guidance has been calculated on the assumption that there will be no further drops in the value of sterling and no more cuts in average fare revenues. 

Bellway fears price squeeze by suppliers

Housebuilding company Bellway has expressed concern that suppliers could be about to increase prices following the drop in the value of sterling. The firm warned that suppliers may seek to hike prices to recoup currency losses, as has recently been the case with consumer goods group Unilever.

Ted Ayres, Chief Executive of Bellway, told Reuters: "I'm sure we're going to have what we would call some sort of Unilever moments with some of our suppliers."

The comments came as Bellway revealed a 41% increase in full-year profit to reach £498 million on Tuesday. 

Self-employed workforce grows, but pay drops   

People who are self-employed are currently earning lower average wages than they did in 1994-1995, new findings from the Resolution Foundation have shown. It was found that weekly earnings have reduced by £60, with the financial crisis and lower paid jobs to blame for the fall.

The drop has come despite the size of the UK's self-employed workforce growing by 45% since 2002, with increases in jobs such as hairdressers, taxi drivers and construction workers.

Adam Corlett, Economist Analyst at the Resolution Foundation, commented: "While the self-employed workforce is getting bigger, typical earnings are actually lower than they were 20 years ago."