Welcome to the long, hot, cost-of-living Summer
Our two (or was it three) days of Summer came and went. But get ready for a long, hot cost-of-living Summer, where the tension over how much people have to pay to get by in their lives begins to reach fever pitch.
It seems that the cost-of-living drama has consumed everything. Pick a news story and I bet you can somehow hook it back to rising inflation somehow.
It is the Brexit of Personal Finance, the all-consuming news story, the story at can be picked at and processed from every direction.
While it’s easy to be glib about the breathless coverage of the issue by the press, it is a big problem. Just two years ago we were paying nearly half to fill up our cars, while the cost of heating our homes is set to more than double this year.
These aren’t life’s luxuries, electronics or other doohickies people can live without, these are the essentials that maintain our living standards and power our economy. And while we talk about transitioning to a green economy etc, this is years away from realisation, and the problem exists right here, right now.
The unfortunate reality is it this exact problem that is driving a cart and horses through people’s ability to cope with cost rises, and their attendant diminishing of quality of life.
And so, the cost-of-living crisis narrative will rumble on.
Eventually, actions will play out and either the Government and Bank of England will treat the cause, or economic conditions will play themselves out and it will cost many people their livelihoods.
So be ready for a long, hot cost-of-living Summer. The weather might not be toasty, but the political, economic and socio-cultural temperature is rising.
But what else have we got coming up this month?
1 July marks 25 years since the UK handed Hong Kong back to China. It is also the 50th anniversary of London’s first gay pride rally.
It’s US Independence Day on 4 July. The country is fraught with political tensions at the moment, which will make the day a bittersweet affair for many.
Amazon Prime Day falls on 12 July, in what is likely to be a more demur event with households showing signs that they are tightening their belts.
On 13 July the Office for National Statistics (ONS) publishes its monthly GDP for the UK. The media are focusing closely on this one at the moment for signs of a recession. The US releases its latest inflation figures on the same day.
The ONS then publishes the latest wages and employment information on 19 July, and inflation the next day on 20 July.
On 14 July we have the first of several cost-of-living payments from the Government. This coincides with the third anniversary of Boris Johnson becoming Prime Minister. Some eight million people will get a payment of around £326 on or after the date.
The Bank of England’s birthday is on 27 July. It turns a venerable 328 years’ old.
Also on 27 July is the latest monetary policy decision from the US Federal Reserve, although there’s no official meeting for the BoE this month on the issue.
Photo by Juan Fernandez on Unsplash