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Compositional changes in employment weighed on wage growth in 2014. Factors of particular importance were the changes in the occupational mix leading to a concentration of employment gains in lower-paying jobs, as well as strong growth in self-employment, and in employment among younger and less-experienced workers. These changes are symptomatic of a new structural trend that the OBR would have to take into consideration.
Under the new market interest rate expectations, the MPC's central projections show that CPI inflation is expected to stay significantly below target for much of the forecast period. CPI inflation is expected to decline temporarily below 1% in the near term, which would imply the need for an explanatory letter from the Governor to the Chancellor.
In 2014, transaction volumes are forecast to be down slightly relative to 2013 and stable in the pre-owned sector. Prices in the pre-owned sector are forecast to fall 2.5% y/y after a drop of 1.9% at end-2013. In 2015, volumes should remain stable in the pre-owned sector and pick up a little, by 5%, in the developer new-build segment. Prices look set to fall modestly in the pre-owned sector, by 2%.
In September this year, the inflation rate slowed slightly, to 0.3% y/y, compared with 0.4% y/y in August. This is a very low level, far lower than the trend level of 1.6% since 2000.
In most Latin American countries, the current account went into the red after the 2008 crisis, with moderate, temporary deficits. Then, starting in 2011, it took another turn for the worse, and deficits spread across the region. The average current account balance as a percentage of GDP for Latin America fell from a 1.3% surplus in 2005 to a 2.6% deficit in 2013, and should fall further, to negative 2.8% in 2014.
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