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The Taj Mahal, New York or Stay at Home to Annoy Economists

Posted on Jun 16, 2021. by NTI

On the day the Taj Mahal reopened to tourists, a decision pitching itself against appointing David Cameron head of an independent enquiry into lobbying as the worst of the year to date, and Boeing and Airbus agreeing, after 17 years, to bury the hatchet over their ‘your Dad helped you more than my Dad helped me’ dispute, to focus on a real aircraft-manufacturer foe, China …

… the Office for National Statistics (ONS) told us that UK inflation rose above 2 per cent for the first time for years. It was up from 1.5 per cent in April to 2.1 per cent last month, and confounded economists, who slapped their collective heads in astonishment when seeing their prediction of 1.8 per cent was wrong. They only have a long odds chance of Russia winning the Euros left before they are forced to confirm a whitewash for their forecasting this year. 

Economists, led by their champion Andrew Bailey who is leading the line at the Bank of England, blamed us lot for going out and about and spending our money, having been freed from lockdown. Apparently in May we were particularly attracted to new clothing, motor fuel, recreational goods and food and drink and, quite honestly, are a little surprised that it is our fault given that we were previously enjoined to go out and spend the £149 billion in our savings accounts on frippery and white wine.

If we could get there we could now head to New York, where the state lifted nearly all remaining Covid-related restrictions on Tuesday (15 June), 15 months after Covid rampaging up and down the grid forced America’s biggest city into an unprecedented lockdown, decimated its small businesses and claimed the lives of more than 33,000 of its residents. Those in California are doing the same, as the single vaccination rate of 70 per cent target was reached in both areas. 

Back here in the UK the ONS haven’t stopped confounding us with their wizardry. They told us this week that there were 3.042 million employment in retail in the first quarter of 2021, up 1,000 from the first quarter of 2020. It’s a small rise, but we’ll take it as a sign. Overall, the number of salaried employees in the UK climbed for the sixth month in a row in May 2021, rising by 197,000 to 28.5 million.

What do these newly employed people save their money for first? A trip to Agra to see the Taj Mahal, shopping down 5th Avenue, or should we stay at home and annoy economists further by spending money in pubs?

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