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The labour market is at the heart of the Bank of England’s thinking on inflation and interest rates. There are some aspects of the current cost of living crisis that the Old Lady can do nothing about.

It can neither control energy prices nor ease bottlenecks in global supply chains. But it can send out a message to individuals and firms that it is serious about getting inflation back to around its 2 per cent target.

The Bank’s aim will be to imprint that expectation in the minds of unions and employees, so they do not try for exorbitant pay increases.

When the pandemic struck, most forecasters expected dole queues to lengthen. Instead, there has been something of a jobs miracle

When the pandemic struck, most forecasters expected dole queues to lengthen. Instead, there has been something of a jobs miracle

Firms may also be less inclined to try to hike their prices if they believe the Bank is clamping down in earnest.

Thanks to decades of price stability, we have forgotten that inflation is one of the great economic evils. It corrodes living standards, eats away at savings. 

For the UK, as an exporter of services and an importer of goods, it creates adverse terms of trade. One of the blights of the 1970s was industrial unrest and wage demands that created a self-fulfilling spiral.

When the pandemic struck, most forecasters expected dole queues to lengthen. Instead, there has been something of a jobs miracle, with unemployment incredibly low. This has not been accompanied by generous pay awards – yet.

It is an ominous sign, though, with a dash of black humour, that economists at the National Institute of Economic and Social Research have voted to go on strike over a pay offer of 2 per cent. 

As they would well know, with inflation at 5.1 per cent, that is a pay cut in real terms. They are not alone. Average pay is not going up by enough to keep pace with the cost of living.

Possibly there is a lag in perception as workers outside the economic think-tanks may not yet have fully grasped the damage that is coming to their real incomes.

Rather than demanding bigger salaries, employees have seemed obsessed with lifestyle issues such as the right to work from home forever after.

But it’s only a matter of time, and staff are in a strong bargaining position to demand more. The balance of power in the workplace has shifted dramatically in favour of employees.

Businesses are already suffering from staff shortages and live in dread of ‘The Great Resignation’. One recruitment company estimates more than 9m people are looking for a new role this spring.

Combine that with older workers quitting during the pandemic and firms are under intense pressure to pay more to attract and keep good people.

All the more reason for the Bank to make very clear that it does not intend to let high inflation become embedded in the system.

This means that, barring a major shock, more interest rate rises are on the way on top of the rise from 0.1 per cent to 0.25 per cent last month. But let’s keep a sense of proportion: rates will remain very low and are simply being shunted out of emergency mode.

That is precisely what should happen as the economy recovers.

Lloyd’s move

If the Lloyd’s of London insurance market decides to move out of its Lime Street headquarters it will be a sad day. The Lloyd’s building opened just after the Big Bang in 1986 swept away the cobwebs from the fusty old City.

Towering over nearby Leadenhall Market, it embodied the spirit of the 1980s in all its brash, exhilarating excess.

Its gleaming metal was a confident symbol of optimism and modernity.

As the City’s old-school jobbers and brokers were joined by a tide of American bankers, Richard Rogers’ masterpiece declared that the 300-year insurance market steeped in tradition was still a formidable presence.

As a young financial journalist I drank in the thrilling sight of it, teeming with underwriters, on my way in and out of the office each day.

The transparency of the architecture, with its ducts, pipes and lifts made visible, was not always mirrored in the workings of the market itself.

There was chicanery, scandal and ruinous losses for some members, who were known as ‘Names’.

They were well-to-do individuals who were personally liable down to their last cufflink or earring, but never expected that to happen. The market was reformed and bounced back, as it will post-pandemic.

But underwriting on Zoom is just not the same. Leaving the Lloyd’s building really will be the end of an era.

Some links in this article may be affiliate links. If you click on them we may earn a small commission. That helps us fund This Is Money, and keep it free to use. We do not write articles to promote products. We do not allow any commercial relationship to affect our editorial independence.


Our new Power Portfolio has arrived – we think it’s brilliant as do thousands of our existing users. We listened to our loyal audience and have made a raft of improvements.

Login/create a portfolio 

Below are some useful tips on how to get started and to keep going.

Power portfolio: Track your shares, funds and other investments

Power portfolio: Track your shares, funds and other investments

New users – how does it work?

New users – a very warm welcome. To get going, register with This is Money, then go to the portfolio login page – create a portfolio and give it a name then scroll down and fill in the fields in the Add transaction section. 

Start typing the name of the company or fund and choose from the results. 

Easy to use: Start typing the name of a company and choose from the list

Easy to use: Start typing the name of a company and choose from the list

You can add ‘Other investments’ such as foreign stocks, cash, property that will contribute to your total net worth but you’ll need to maintain the prices manually as they change over time. 

You can also access a wealth of information on the shares in your portfolio. 

Login/create a portfolio 

Shares: Use the tabs to see the vital information about your holdings

Shares: Use the tabs to see the vital information about your holdings 

Long-time users – do I need to start again?

If you’ve been using our portfolio for a while, some of you for more than 20 years, you will see that your shares and funds have been successfully imported into your portfolios. The old cash function has been mothballed because too few people used it. You can now add cash as an ‘Other investment’ along with property, cars, wine as you wish. 

What do the tabs mean?  

Portfolio – shows all your investments on one page, divided into investment type 

News – official announcements for your shares (general news will be added later) 

Allocation – see at a glance the sectors and industries you’re invested in

Statement – a ledger of when you added each entry to your portfolio 

Shares – this really allows you to drill down into fundamental data for your holdings 

Funds – is your fund clean or is your provider taking more charges than they need?

News: The official announcements for shares you're interested or invested in - all in one place

News: The official announcements for shares you’re interested or invested in – all in one place 

Funds: We show you whether your funds are clean - those without hidden charges

Funds: We show you whether your funds are clean – those without hidden charges

Sometimes asked questions 

These were once called frequently asked questions but the new Power Portfolio is so intuitive and reliable we don’t get asked many questions. But there’ll always be a few things that need ironing out. 

Missing funds?

For those people whose portfolios were migrated from the old version, you might find that some funds are no longer available or recognised. In this case, it will be listed under a heading ‘Other fund’ and display the old Citicode, which we no longer use.

These are likely to be investment trusts that are now only available under shares, funds that have changed name or ownership and the odd random glitch. If you know the fund name please look it up and add it again. You’ll be able to look up the date it was initially added.

Can’t delete entries?

One small bug reported to us by a few people that we’ve not been able to tackle yet is where you cannot delete some of the imported entries. Thankfully, a long-time fan worked out that if you enter it again you can then delete it. It works. We’re working on a longer term fix. 

Can’t log in?

If you find you cannot log in and are presented with an infuriation graphic going round in circles until you want to throw expensive IT equipment out the window. Don’t. Simply clear the cache on your device and make sure you’re using the correct new link.

https://investing.thisismoney.co.uk/portfolio 

How often are prices updated?

Share prices are updated every few minutes throughout trading hours and fund prices once a day. Share data are from the London Stock Exchange and fund data from Morningstar via data specialist Webfg. The site was built by geniuses at Eck Technologies exclusively for This is Money. 

I’ve forgotten my password 

You can reset your password here. 

I’m stuck

Any problems please email editor@thisismoney.co.uk with details.

Did you know?

We rebuilt the entire market data section with everything you need to research your investments with comprehensive share performance tables to broker views, regulatory news, winners and losers, crypto, funds and more.

Finally, what have long-time users said about the new portfolio?

Ooh, glad you asked that.  Here’s some of our favourites.

The new portfolio is easy to use – Andrew

I find the “Power Portfolio” very useful – another Andrew

I’m a long time user and a big fan of your This is Money portfolio tool – Anthony

I find it invaluable – Barry

Some links in this article may be affiliate links. If you click on them we may earn a small commission. That helps us fund This Is Money, and keep it free to use. We do not write articles to promote products. We do not allow any commercial relationship to affect our editorial independence.