UK’s CMA launches action against BA and Ryanair over refunds; China inflation rises – live


UK regulator expresses concern that by failing to offer refunds for flights during lockdowns both firms ‘may have breached consumer law’

7.42am BST

Good morning, and welcome to our rolling coverage of the world economy, the financial markets, the eurozone and business.

The UK’s competition watchdog has launched action against British Airways and Ryanair over their refusal to give refunds to people during UK lockdowns, when they were “lawfully unable to fly” due to travel bans and restrictions imposed by the government.

While we understand that airlines have had a tough time during the pandemic, people should not be left unfairly out of pocket for following the law.

Customers booked these flights in good faith and were legally unable to take them due to circumstances entirely outside of their control. We believe these people should have been offered their money back.

Consumer prices continued to be affected by last year’s high pork prices, which started to come down in May last year. As such the high base effect from now will dissipate, and therefore we will see CPI edging higher from now on.

While some of the rise can be attributed to base effects due to the huge slide in commodity prices that we saw in March and April last year which saw producer prices decline 3.7%, there is increasing evidence that various supply side issues are starting to create a situation where rather than being transitory, inflation pressures could become more persistent. It is certainly something Chinese business is becoming more concerned about, along with Chinese authorities given recent steps to curb the recent sharp rise in commodity prices.

This is a situation that central bankers appear to be remarkably relaxed or complacent about, depending on which side of the fence you happen to be on.

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