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United Kingdom jobless claims jump by 856,000 to 2.1 million in April

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Thousands more were claiming across Shropshire last month

The claimant count rose by 856,500 - the biggest ever month-on-month jump - to 2.097 million, a 69 per cent increase, the Office for National Statistics said.

Canada's inflation rate fell to an annualized -0.2 per cent in April, as the COVID-19 pandemic pushed down consumer prices to their lowest level in more than a decade.

But there was upward pressure from the price of video games and consoles, board games and children's toys, as well as fresh vegetables, the ONS said.

"As much as this is an important release, the reality is that the market for a number of goods and especially services was shut down in April, so numerous prices for that month are almost meaningless", Porter said. There were a greater number of items recorded as being discounted this year, when compared with April 2019, with reductions across a range of women's and men's clothing items.

He added that inflation was set to hit zero by the summer as "retailers are planning further large price cuts". Pressure on the Bank of England to boost the economy and push inflation back to its 2% target is expected to intensify following the price fall. People (and governments) with borrowing, such as mortgages, don't see the benefit. So-called deflation actually increases the value the debts.

Employees aged 35 to 44 are the least likely to have been furloughed or lost their jobs, with around 15% experiencing this since the crisis started, the report found.

Savers are also penalised.

Lower inflation is in theory good news for people with cash on deposit in the bank. April's decline was the first time Canada's year-over-year inflation rate fell into negative territory since September 2009.

Samuel Tombs, chief United Kingdom economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, said inflation had taken a "big leap towards zero by the summer" as he said retailers were planning "further large price cuts".

Tej Parikh, chief economist at the Institute of Directors, said: "Even before lockdown, coronavirus was threatening to take the shine off the UK's sterling jobs record, and initial estimates for April don't make for easy reading". Powys saw claimants up by 1,445 to 2,885 (3.8 per cent).

"Nevertheless, with the economy likely still underperforming if and when further restrictions are lifted, there will be an underlying drag on inflation that central bankers will need to offset with additional monetary easing", Mendes writes.

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