Interesting Inflation News Links (February 24, 2009)

* Sterling strengthens after decline in UK retail sales slows (Reuters America)

The pound consolidated its gains against the dollar after a Confederation of British Industry survey revealed that high street sales fell at a much slower pace than expected, though retailers are shedding staff at a record pace.

* In these dire times, labour rigidity is a recipe for disaster (The Financial Times)

Sir, Paul De Grauwe, in his commentary on the benefits of rigidities in wages, prices and employment contracts ( Flexibility is out: now we see rigiditys virtues , February 23) errs in presuming that most if not all companies have the cash resources to sustain some prolonged period of operational rigidity, thereby laying the burden of these circuit breakers squarely at the foot of the empl…

* Saudi inflation to slide says Sama (Gulf Daily News)

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s central bank yesterday said it expects inflation to further decline this and next month after it hit a 12-month low last month, due mainly to a slower rise in home rents and drops in steel and food prices.

* The Economic Need for Stable Policies, Not a Stimulus [Extended version] (Scientific American)

The U.S. political-economic system gives evidence of a phenomenon known as instrument instability. Policy makers at the Federal Reserve and the White House are attempting to use highly imperfect monetary and fiscal policies to stabilize the national economy. The result, however, has been ever-more desperate swings in economic policies in the attempt to prevent recessions that cannot be fully …

* Bmi cuts routes between Heathrow and the North (Oliver Smith, Telegraph)

Bmi is to cut its services between Heathrow airport and the North of England after 40 years of continuous service

* Budget angst bubbles up at forecast (Rick Karlin, Times Union)

ALBANY Lawmakers on Monday got a jump on an annual budget ritual: the Consensus Forecasting Conference, in which both Democrats and Republicans bring in experts to try and reach a consensus on how rosy or in this case, gloomy the coming budget-building process will be.

* Ahead of the Bell: Micron Technology cutbacks

NEW YORK — Micron Technology Inc.’s decision to cut as many as 2,000 jobs and scale back memory chip production is a “prudent” move, a Deutsche Bank analyst said.

* Consumer confidence plummets to new low in Feb. (Anne D’ Innocenzio)

NEW YORK — Americans’ already battered confidence in the economy went into free fall in February, sinking to new lows as consumers grow more fearful over massive job cuts and shrinking retirement accounts.

* Bank of England gives clearest indication of zero interest rates (Edmund Conway, Telegraph)

Andrew Sentance, a member of the Bank’s Money Policy Committee, said that “more stimulus” would be needed to avert the risk of Britain sliding into deflation – with prices falling as they did in 1930s America.

* Rate-setter makes case for ‘printing money’ (Times Online)

A member of the Bank of Englands monetary policy committee today made the case for quantitative easing, the controversial measure to boost the economy by “printing money” to increase the money supply.

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