Written by Millan Chauhan.

Last week, we saw the release of US inflation data where the US Consumer Price Index reached 3.2% on a year-over-year basis as of July 2023 which was below expectations of 3.3%. Inflation has fallen significantly from its highs of 9.1% in June 2022. Food was one of the largest contributors to July’s monthly inflation print of 0.2%. Food at Home costs rose 3.6% and Food Away from Home costs rose 7.1% on a year-over-year basis. Attention now turns towards the UK and Continental Europe where we await July’s inflation data readings on Wednesday and Friday respectively. In the UK, analysts expect to see inflation fall to 6.8% and in the Euro Area to 5.3%, both on a year-over-year basis for July 2023.

Over the last 15 months, we have seen central banks implement several interest rate hikes, which has caused commercial banks to raise the interest rate received on deposits by savers. Some banks have been slower to increase the interest rate received than others. Last week, the Italian Government stepped in to penalise banks for failing to pass enough of the interest hikes from the European Central Bank (ECB) to depositors, it initially stated that it would tax 40% of net interest margins in 2022 or 2023 which initially saw numerous Italian banks sell off sharply. The announcement was a shock to investors and was widely criticised. Subsequently the Italian Prime Minister, Giorgia Meloni backtracked the decision and clarified that any levy applied would be capped to 0.1% of assets.

The UK’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew 0.5% in June 2023 which was above expectations of 0.2%. The extra bank holiday has been cited as a key driver; however, we have also seen production output grow 1.8% in June 2023 which outpaced the Services & Construction sectors. June’s strong economic growth data saw the UK’s Q2 GDP grow by 0.2%.

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