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23 July 2018 A Welcome Pause to the Fiscal Squeeze is In Sight (Publication Centre)

The public finances continue to heal rapidly, suggesting that the Chancellor should have scope to soften his fiscal plans substantially in the Autumn Budget.

22 November. 2016 Sweeteners for the 'JAMs' Will Be Spread Thinly on Wednesday (Publication Centre)

In recent public appearances, the Chancellor has made a concerted effort to downplay expectations of fiscal loosening in Wednesday's Autumn statement. On Sunday, he labelled the deficit "eye-wateringly" large and he warned that he was "highly constrained".

24 November. 2016 The Fiscal Fetters Remain in Place, Despite the Looming Slowdown (Publication Centre)

The Chancellor's Autumn Statement dashed hopes that the fiscal consolidation will be paused while the economy struggles to adjust to the implications of Brexit. Admittedly, Mr. Hammond has another opportunity in the Spring Budget to reduce next year's fiscal tightening.

25 November. 2016 Don't Bank on Hammond Being Able to Use His Fiscal Headroom (Publication Centre)

The Chancellor hinted in the Autumn Statement that the fiscal consolidation might not be as severe as it appears on paper because he has built in some "fiscal headroom". By that, Mr. Hammond means that he could borrow more and still adhere to his new, self-imposed rules.

30 June. 2016 Will the New Government Sweeten the Fiscal Pill? (Publication Centre)

Fiscal policy is in limbo until a new leader of the Conservative party has been elected on September 9. Shortly after, however, a new Budget--or a Budget disguised as an Autumn Statement--will be held.

29 Oct. 2015 Will the Chancellor Ease Next Year's Fiscal Squeeze? (Publication Centre)

The defeat in the House of Lords of the Government's plans to cut spending on tax credits by £4.4B next year is not a barrier to their implementation. But it has prompted speculation that the Chancellor will reduce the size of the fiscal consolidation planned for next year. The plans may be tweaked in the Autumn Statement on 25 November, but we think the economy will still endure a major fiscal tightening next year.

22 August 2018 Sharp Fall in Borrowing Removes Need for Fiscal Tightening in 2019 (Publication Centre)

The latest public finance figures continue to imply that the Chancellor will be able to change course later this year in the Autumn Budget so that fiscal policy doesn't drag on GDP growth next year.

26 Nov. 2015 The Chancellor Leaves the Fiscal Shackles Firmly in Place (Publication Centre)

The Chancellor used the Autumn Statement to shift the composition of the fiscal consolidation slightly away from spending cuts and towards tax hikes. But in overall macroeconomic terms, he changed little. The fiscal stance is still set to be extremely tight in 2016 and 2017, ensuring that the economic recovery will lose more momentum.

10 March 2017 Don't Take the Public Borrowing Forecasts at Face Value (Publication Centre)

Investors in the gilt market would be wise not to take the new official projections for borrowing and debt issuance at face value. The forecast for the Government's gross financing requirement between 2017/18 and 2021/22 was lowered to £625B in the Budget, from £646B in the Autumn Statement.

14 March 2018 The Chancellor Remains Boxed-in by Deficit Pledges and a Downbeat OBR (Publication Centre)

The Chancellor kept his word and made only trivial policy changes in the Spring Statement, but he hinted at higher spending plans in the Autumn Budget.

14 March 2019 Headroom Still Looks Big Enough to Abandon the 2020 Fiscal Squeeze (Publication Centre)

As expected, the Chancellor kept his powder dry in the Spring Statement, preferring instead to wait for the Budget in the autumn to deploy the funds technically available to him to support the economy.

BBC - UK retail sales hit by mild autumn (Media Centre)

Chief U.K. Economist Samuel Tombs on U.K. Retail Sales in October

26 October 2018 Plunging Korean Investment Activity Cancels-out Gains Elsewhere in Q3 (Publication Centre)

Korea's GDP growth in Q3 was a miss. Quarter- on-quarter growth was unchanged at 0.6%, below the consensus for a 0.8% rise.

25 April 2017 Are Further Tax Rises After the Election Inevitable? (Publication Centre)

The Prime Minister's refusal last week to reaffirm her party's 2015 election pledge not to raise income tax, National Insurance or VAT has fuelled speculation that taxes will rise if the Conservatives are re-elected on June 8. Admittedly, Mrs. May asserted that her party "believes in lower taxes", and the tax pledge s till might appear in the Conservatives' manifesto, which won't be published for a few weeks.

22 October 2018 Budget to Ensure Fiscal Policy Doesn't Slow the Economy in 2019 (Publication Centre)

The Chancellor probably can't believe his luck. Public borrowing has continued to fall this year at a much faster rate than anticipated by the OBR, despite the sluggish economy.

19 September 2017 Four Reasons Why the MPC Likely Will Procrastinate in November (Publication Centre)

For the record, we think the Fed should raise rates in December, given the long lags in monetary policy and the clear strength in the economy, especially the labor market, evident in the pre-hurricane data.

30 May 2018 Does Italy's Crisis Really Mean Slower U.K. Rate Hikes? (Publication Centre)

Investors have concluded that Italy's political crisis will compel the U.K. MPC to increase interest rates even more gradually than they thought previously.

30 October 2017 The MPC Will Hike Rates, but Won't Jawbone Sterling Higher (Publication Centre)

The MPC likely will raise interest rates on Thursday, for the first time since July 2007, in response to the uptick in GDP growth and the upside inflation surprise in Q3.

7 March 2019 Only a Fool Would Believe the Official Public Borrowing Forecasts (Publication Centre)

The Chancellor will struggle to make his Spring Statement heard on March 13 over the noise of next week's key Brexit votes in parliament, likely spanning from March 12 to 14.

9 March 2017 The Chancellor Sticks to Plans for an Intense Fiscal Tightening (Publication Centre)

The Chancellor lived up to his reputation for fiscal conservatism yesterday and is pressing ahead with a tough fiscal tightening. He hopes that this will create scope to loosen policy if the economy struggles after the U.K. leaves the EU in 2019, but we remain concerned his "fiscal headroom" will be much smaller than he currently anticipates.

7 March 2017 The Chancellor Isn't Bluffing, This Will Be a Thrifty Budget (Publication Centre)

If the Chancellor is true to his word, Wednesday's Budget will be a pedestrian affair with few major policy changes designed to prevent the economy from slowing this year. In an article in The Sunday Times, Philip Hammond asserted that "we cannot take our foot off the pedal" in the mission to eliminate the budget deficit by the end of the next parliament.

6 November 2017 Could a Q4 Data Bounce the MPC into Another Rate Hike? (Publication Centre)

The MPC's penchant for providing interest rate guidance reached new heights last week.

4 June 2018 The Economy Should be Less Lethargic in 2019 (Publication Centre)

We're relatively optimistic--yes, you read that correctly--on the outlook for the U.K. economy in 2019.

23 November 2017 The Chancellor Softens the Fiscal Squeeze and Hopes for the Best (Publication Centre)

The Chancellor was bolder than widely expected yesterday and scaled back the fiscal consolidation planned for the next two years significantly, even though his borrowing forecast was boosted by the OBR's gloomier prognosis for the economy.

5 June 2018 A Customs Union U-turn is Coming, but not Until the Autumn (Publication Centre)

In theory, June should be a crunch month for Theresa May's Brexit plans. The Prime Minister will meet EU leaders on June 28 and hopes to have found a consensus in cabinet by then for how the U.K. will trade with the EU outside of the customs union.

23 November. 2016 Don't Expect a Fiscal U-Turn Today, Despite October's Better Figures (Publication Centre)

October's public finance data provided very little relief for the Chancellor ahead of today's Autumn Statement. One month of good borrowing figures do little to compensate for the poor trend in the first half of the fiscal year.

16 August 2018 Mixed Signals from Italy on the 2019 Budget Prepare for Volatility (Publication Centre)

Italy's political leadership faces its first biggest test in autumn, when it has to deliver its first budget.

22 September 2017 Don't Expect a Giveaway Budget, Despite low Borrowing this year (Publication Centre)

Public borrowing was below consensus expectations in August, fuelling speculation that the Chancellor might pare back the remaining fiscal tightening in the Autumn Budget on November 22.

20 Nov. 2015 Will the OBR's New Forecasts Make the Chancellor Cut Deeper? (Publication Centre)

The Chancellor must feel a sense of foreboding before his pre-Autumn Statement meetings with the Office for Budget Responsibility. Even minor revisions to the independent body's economic forecasts could shred into tatters his plans for a budget surplus by the end of the parliament, given the lack of wiggle room in the July Budget borrowing projections. The OBR won't present the Chancellor with disastrous news ahead of next Wednesday's Autumn Statement, but the already slim margin for error he has in meeting his surplus goal likely will be reduced.

21 Jan. 2016 Could the Chancellor Still Reduce Borrowing This Year as Planned? (Publication Centre)

By any yardstick, progress in reducing public sector borrowing so far this fiscal year has been poor. While the borrowing trend should improve in the final four months of this year--including December's figures, published Friday--the Chancellor has only a slim chance of meeting the forecasts set out in the Autumn Statement.

14 November. 2016 Britain Will Not Lead the Way With Fiscal Stimulus (Publication Centre)

Expectations are running high that the Autumn Statement on November 23 will mark the beginning of a more active role for fiscal policy in stimulating the economy. The MPC's abandonment of its former easing bias earlier this month has put the stimulus ball firmly in the new Chancellor's court.

8 March 2018 The Spring Statement Really Will Be a Non-Event (Publication Centre)

The Treasury has tried to dampen expectations for Tuesday's Spring Statement, which has replaced the Autumn Statement since the Budget was moved last year to November.

25 January 2017 The Fiscal Plans Won't Be Softened, Despite December's Better Figures (Publication Centre)

December's public finance figures suggest that borrowing is on track to come in a bit below the forecasts set out in the Autumn Statement in November. But we caution against expecting the Chancellor to unveil a material reduction in the scale of the fiscal consolidation set to hit the economy in his Budget on 8th March.

1 March 2017 The Chancellor will Bank Most of the £20B Borrowing Windfall (Publication Centre)

At next Wednesday's Budget, the Chancellor will have the rare pleasure of announcing lower-than- anticipated near-term borrowing forecasts. But hopes that he will prevent the fiscal tightening from intensifying when the new financial year begins in April look set to be dashed, just as they were at the Autumn Statement in November.

25 Nov. 2015 Privatisations Conceal Underlying Health of Public Finances (Publication Centre)

The Chancellor is likely to announce plans for additional public sector asset sales in today's Autumn Statement, to help arrest the unanticipated rise in the debt-to-GDP ratio this year. But privatisations rarely improve the underlying health of the public finances, partly because assets seldom are sold for their full value. And the Chancellor is running out of viable assets to privatise; the low-hanging, juiciest fruits have already been plucked.

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