Rolling coverage of the latest economic and financial news, as falling clothes and fuel prices pull inflation down
- Latest: UK inflation falls to 1.5%
- What the experts say
- ONS: Clothing demand hit by lockdown
- Brent crude has plunged to $16 per barrel
Today’s inflation report shows that air fares rose by 5.3% during March (based on flights departing on March 17).
By that stage, the Covid-19 pandemic was already hitting the sector – Donald Trump announced his ban on European Union flights to the US on March 12, and added the UK on the 14th.
All of the UK’s biggest airlines and most big holiday companies are systematically breaking the law by denying timely refunds to customers for travel cancelled during the pandemic, researchers have found.
Consumer groups have warned that the sector risks permanently losing public confidence in booking travel, with Which? finding 20 of the UK’s largest operators are illegally withholding refunds that should be paid within 14 days.
Although stock markets are up this morning, oil is still sharply down.
Brent crude is changing hands for $17.62 per barrel right now, down 9% today, having hit 21-year lows overnight.
I’d say oil markets are telling us how bad things are right now, while equity markets tell us how good or bad investors hope/fear things will be next year.