FTSE 100 is trading down today after the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said consumer prices were up more than expected in March.
U.K. inflation data today came in hot
Year-on-year, inflation in the United Kingdom was still at 10.1% last month – a decline from 10.4% in February but hotter than 9.8% that economists had forecast. The ONS report reads:
Largest upward contributions to the annual CPIH inflation rate in March 2023 came from housing and household services (principally from electricity, gas and other fuels) and food and non-alcoholic beverages.
For the month, the consumer price index climbed 0.8% versus 0.5% expected. In February, the month-over-month gain was recorded at 1.1%.
Excluding food, energy, alcohol, and tobacco, the so-called core CPIH remained unchanged from February at 5.7%. The blue-chip index is currently up more than 4.0% for the year.
Morgan Stanley is bullish on Whitbread
Despite the U.K. inflation data today, analysts at Morgan Stanley remain bullish on the London-listed hotel and restaurants company Whitbread plc (LON: WTB).
They’re convinced that the Dunstable-headquartered firm will report better-than-expected pre-tax profit for the full year on April 25th. Their research note on Wednesday added:
Whitbread’s asset backing provides a good inflation hedge, and shares are trading at updated property valuation, leaving operations for free. We’re expecting a cash return and see FY23 results as main upcoming catalyst.
The U.K. stock currently pays a dividend yield of 1.89% that makes up for another good reason to own it.
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