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18 December 2018 A Conservative Budget Plan Eases Fears About AMLO's Credentials (Publication Centre)

AMLO unveiled on Saturday Mexico's budget plan for 2019, calling for a moderate increase in spending, focused mainly on social programs, without raising taxes or the country's debt.

3 May 2018 Can the Prime Minister Fight off the Brexiteers in her Party? (Publication Centre)

The pressure on Theresa May from Brexiteers within her own party intensified yesterday, when 60 Conservative MPs signed a letter arguing that they could not back a proposal for a "customs partnership".

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.

21 November 2017 Cutting Stamp Duty for FTBs Will Boost Prices, not Home Ownership (Publication Centre)

Reforms to Stamp Duty Land Tax paid by first-time buyers likely will take centre stage in the Budget. At the Conservatives' party conference, Theresa May pledged another £10B to expand the Help to Buy Scheme, which helps first-time buyers obtain a mortgage which just a 5% deposit.

30 May 2017 Should Investors Start to Fear a Hung Parliament? (Publication Centre)

The Conservatives' opinion poll rating has fallen dramatically over the last 10 days or so, pushing sterling down and forcing investors to confront the possibility that Theresa May might not increase her majority much from the current paltry 17 MPs.

24 April 2017 Past Errors Mean Investors Should Treat the Latest Polls Cautiously (Publication Centre)

Sterling jumped last week to its highest level against the dollar since last October in response to news that a general election will be held on June 8. Markets are betting that the Conservative Government will sharply increase its majority, enabling Theresa May to ignore Eurosceptic backbenchers when she strikes a deal with the EU.

31 May 2017 Manifestos Point to Very Different Public Borrowing Paths (Publication Centre)

The recent narrowing of the Conservatives' opinion poll lead suggests that investors, particularly in the gilt market, now must consider other parties' fiscal proposals.

9 May 2017 Does the Economy Thrive Under "Strong and Stable" Government? (Publication Centre)

The Prime Minister has argued repeatedly during the general election campaign that Britain will prosper under a "strong and stable" Conservative government with a large majority. "Division in Westminster," she argued when calling the election last month, "...will risk our ability to make a success of Brexit and it will cause damaging uncertainty and instability to the country."

9 June 2017 Markets Continue to Distrust Opinion Polls Indicating a Tight Race (Publication Centre)

The final flurry of opinion polls indicates that voting intentions have changed little over the last few days. The Conservatives have an average lead over Labour of 7.5% in the final p olls conducted by 10 different agencies, only slightly more than their 6.5% lead at the 2015 election.

5 June 2017 The Election Race is Still Tightening, Setting up Sterling for More Volatility (Publication Centre)

The Conservatives' opinion poll lead continued to decline over the last week, suggesting that a landslide victory on Thursday no longer is likely. Indeed, the Tories' average lead over Labour in the 10 most recent opinion polls has fallen to just 6%, down from a peak of nearly 20% a month ago.

20 November 2018 The PM is Likely to Hang on, Even if a Confidence Vote is Triggered (Publication Centre)

As we write, 25 Conservative MPs have confirmed publicly that they have submitted no-confidence letters to the Chairman of the 1922 Committee. That's 23 short of the 48 required to trigger a leadership contest, though some MPs might have submitted letters without making it public.

4 May 2017 How to Interpret the Results from Today's Local Elections (Publication Centre)

Today's local elections are more important than usual, because they will enable investors to assess if the Conservatives really are on track for a landslide victory in the general election, as suggested by the opinion polls and priced-in by the forex market.

20 February 2017 Should Sterling Investors Fear a Snap General Election? (Publication Centre)

Elections will be held on Thursday in two constituencies vacated recently by Labour MPs. Betting markets are pricing-in a 70% chance that the Conservatives will win the by-election in Copeland--even though they trailed Labour there by eight points in the general election in 2015--mainly because around 60% of Copeland's electorate voted to leave the EU last year.

14 November 2017 Are Investors Complacent to Expect a Smooth Brexit Transition in 2019? (Publication Centre)

Sterling weakened yesterday, to $1.31 from $1.32, following news that 40 Conservative MPs have agreed to sign a letter of no-confidence in the Prime Minister.

13 December 2018 Assuming the PM Wins, the Path to a Softer Brexit Will Become Clearer (Publication Centre)

After seemingly endless speculation, the confidence vote in Theresa May's leadership of the Conservative party finally has been triggered following the submission of at least 48 letters by disgruntled MPs to the Chairman of the 1922 Committee.

13 September 2018 A Leadership Contest Might be Imminent, but Mrs. May Won't Lose (Publication Centre)

Sterling held on to its recent gains yesterday despite mounting speculation that Eurosceptic Conservative MPs are plotting a leadership challenge.

17 March 2017 Embattled Pro-EU Parties Secure Decisive Victory in the Netherlands (Publication Centre)

Centrist politicians and markets breathed a sigh of relief yesterday as the results of the Dutch parliamentary elections rolled in. The incumbent conservatives, led by PM Mark Rutte, lost ground but emerged as parliament's biggest party with 33 seats out of the total 150.

19 September 2018 How Would the MPC Respond to a No-deal Brexit? (Publication Centre)

A no-deal Brexit is a remote possibility. The U.K. government and EU are closing in on a deal and Brexiteers within the Conservative party have failed, so far, to trigger a confidence vote on Mrs. May's leadership.

24 September 2018 The Prime Minister has Doubled Down on a Weak Hand (Publication Centre)

Theresa May doubled down on her Brexit stance last week, despite European Council President Donald Tusk stating clearly that her proposed framework for economic cooperation "will not work" because it risks undermining the single market.

3 December 2018 March 29 Is Not an Immovable Deadline for Brexit (Publication Centre)

Both the E.U. and the U.K. government have been keen to emphasise, since the Withdrawal Agreement was provisionally signed off, that March 29 is a hard deadline for Brexit.

29 October 2018 Is the Only Way Up for Public Borrowing from Here? (Publication Centre)

Later today, the Chancellor likely will take the first step towards abandoning plans for further fiscal tightening. In

25 May 2017 Second Estimate of Q1 GDP to Confirm Sharp Slowdown (Publication Centre)

We expect the second estimate of Q1 GDP, released today, to restate that quarter-on-quarter growth slowed to just 0.3%, from 0.7% in Q4. The second estimate of growth rarely is different to the first.

22 November 2017 "Spreadsheet Phil" Unlikely to Alter Austerity Formula (Publication Centre)

Public sector borrowing still is on course to greatly undershoot the March Budget forecasts this year, despite October's poor figures.

21 May 2019 The MPC Will Shun its Strategy of Waiting for Brexit Uncertainty to Fade (Publication Centre)

The chances of the first phase of the Brexit saga concluding soon declined sharply last week.

21 March 2017 Will Investors Shorting Sterling Remain Frustrated? (Publication Centre)

Speculators who have sold sterling over the last six months have been frustrated. Investors have been overwhelmingly net short sterling, but the pound has hovered between $1.20 and $1.25, as our first chart shows. Undeterred, investors increased their net short positions last week to 107K contracts-- the most since records began in 1992--from 81K a week earlier.

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.

22 June. Fiscal and Monetary Policy Won't Come to the Rescue After a Brexit (Publication Centre)

The Chancellor warned last week that he would hold an Emergency Budget shortly after a vote to leave the E.U. to address a £30B black hole in the public finances. The £30B--some 1.6% of GDP-- is the mid-point of the Institute for Fiscal Studies' estimates of the impact of Brexit on public borrowing in 2019/20, which were based on the GDP forecasts of a range of reports.

24 August 2018 What Probability are Markets Attaching to a No-Deal Brexit? (Publication Centre)

Speculation that the U.K. will end up leaving the E.U. in March without a deal has dominated the headlines over the last month. Politicians on both sides of the Channel have warned that the probability of a no-deal Brexit is at least as high as 50%, even though more than 80% of the withdrawal deal already has been agreed.

3 October 2018 Investment is Dropping, but Don't Rule out a Rebound Next Year (Publication Centre)

One of the more disheartening aspects of the Q2 national accounts, released last week, was the downward revision to business investment. Quarteron-quarter growth was revised to -0.7%, from +0.5% previously.

24 May 2019 Switching Our Brexit Base Case From Soft Departure to Paralysis (Publication Centre)

The chances of our Brexit base case--a soft departure just before the current October 31 deadline--playing out have declined sharply over the last two weeks.

4 October 2018 September's PMIs are Consistent with Slow Growth and MPC Inaction (Publication Centre)

September's Markit/CIPS PMIs indicate that the economy still is stuck in a low gear.

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.

7 December 2017 Tory Eurosceptics Are Not an Invincible Barrier to a Soft Brexit (Publication Centre)

Brexit talks have hit an impasse over the Irish border. The Republic of Ireland will veto any deal that creates a hard border with Northern Ireland. This means that Northern Ireland must remain in the EU's customs union.

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.

7 June 2017 A Tory Victory Wouldn't Necessarily Boost Sterling this Time (Publication Centre)

Predicting which way markets would move in response to potential general election outcomes has been relatively straightforward in the past. But the usual rules of thumb will not apply when the election results filter through after polling stations close on Thursday evening.

21 January 2019 How Far Will Sterling Jump if a Soft Brexit Becomes Government Policy? (Publication Centre)

Signs that the government is softening its Brexit plans, in response to its substantial defeat in the Commons last week, has enabled sterling to recover most of the ground lost against the dollar and euro in the fourth quarter of last year.

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.

31 October 2018 Plans for a Modest Near-Term Fiscal Expansion are Future-Proof (Publication Centre)

The Chancellor's decision immediately to spend all the proceeds from the OBR's upgrade to its projections for tax receipts appears to leave his plans exposed to future adverse revisions to the economic outlook.

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.

9 January 2017 Will Sterling Take a Further Pounding in 2017? (Publication Centre)

Sterling was the worst performing G10 currency in 2016 and most analysts anticipate further weakness in 2017. The cost of purchasing downside protection for sterling over the next year also continues to exceed upside protection, as our first chart shows.

5 December 2018 How's the Maths in Parliament Looking for a People's Vote? (Publication Centre)

With less than a week to go until MPs' meaningful vote on Brexit legislation, on December 11, the Prime Minister still looks set to lose.

31 January 2019 A Two-Week Delay is All the Prime Minister has Achieved (Publication Centre)

The Prime Minister achieved a rare victory yesterday, when the Commons passed the government-backed Brady amendment.

17 July 2018 Is the Prime Minister "A Dead Woman Walking"? (Publication Centre)

Former Chancellor George Osborne famously quipped after last year's general election that Theresa May was "a dead woman walking and the only question is how long she remains on death row".

10 May 2019 Is the Risk of a No-Deal Brexit Rising Again? (Publication Centre)

Unsurprisingly, cross-party Brexit talks are not going well.

11 January 2019 MPs Will Steer the PM to a Softer Brexit After Next Week's Defeat (Publication Centre)

The government remains on course to lose next Tuesday's Commons vote on the Withdrawal Agreement--WA--by a huge margin.

12 April 2019 The Brexit Extension isn't the Death Knell for a 2019 Rate Hike (Publication Centre)

The E.U.'s decision to grant the U.K. a Brexit extension until October 31 does not extinguish the possibility that the MPC will raise Bank Rate before the end of the year.

20 June 2018 Today's Brexit Bill Vote is a Close Call, but Bigger Decisions Lie Ahead (Publication Centre)

The vote in the House of Commons today on whether MPs should effectively take control of Brexit negotiations, if Theresa May can't strike a deal by mid-January, looks finely balanced.

1 April 2019 The PM Will Pick a Softer Brexit over No-deal (Publication Centre)

The Prime Minister is in a position on Brexit all chess players dread: zugzwang.

04 October. 2016 Manufacturing Revival Bolsters Case for the MPC to Hold Fire (Publication Centre)

The odds of the MPC cutting interest rates again in November took another knock yesterday after further signs that the manufacturing sector is getting back on its feet quickly.

05 October. 2016 Construction Still Set to Struggle, Despite the Looser Fiscal Stance (Publication Centre)

Promises of new money to facilitate construction on public sector land from the Chancellor and the pick-up in the construction PMI have fostered optimism that the sector's downturn is over.

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.

1 March 2018 The PM's Inevitable Capitulation is Still a Way Off ,Clouding Sterling's Outlook (Publication Centre)

Sterling fell to $1.38, from $1.39, in the hour following the EU's publication of a draft Article 50 withdrawal treaty, which set out the practical consequences of the principles the U.K. agreed to in December.

2 May 2017 Can Sterling's Recovery Gather More Momentum? (Publication Centre)

Sterling continued to recover last week, hitting its highest level against the dollar since October, despite a series of data releases indicating that the economy is losing momentum. Indeed, sterling was unscathed by the news on Friday that quarter-on-quarter GDP growth slowed to just 0.3% in Q1, from 0.7% in Q4.

20 August 2018 Don't Believe the Scare Stories About Rising No-Deal Brexit Risk (Publication Centre)

Investors have become more concerned about a no-deal Brexit.

16 November 2018 When Parliament Votes Down the Withdrawal Deal, What Next? (Publication Centre)

Even if the Prime Minister fends off an emerging leadership challenge--as we write, the rebels still are short of the 48 signatures required to trigger a confidence vote--her chances of getting parliament to back the Withdrawal Agreement in its current form are slim.

19 February 2019 A 2019 General Election No Longer is So Implausible (Publication Centre)

The decision by seven MPs to abandon Labour and set up a new centrist grouping--the Independent Group--will not have a significant impact on the outcome of parliamentary Brexit votes.

19 June 2018 Sales by Buy-to-Let Investors Won't Swamp the Market, For Now (Publication Centre)

The RICS Residential Market Survey caught our eye last week for reporting that new sale instructions to estate agents rose in May for the first month since February 2016.

19 April 2017 Markets Overlook the Downside Risks from June's Snap Election (Publication Centre)

Prime Minister Theresa May's announcement that Parliament will vote today on holding a general election on June 8 shocked markets and even her own party's MPs. Betting markets were pricing in only a 20% chance of a 2017 election before yesterday's news.

18 December 2017 Why We're Below the Consensus on CPI Inflation Next Year (Publication Centre)

Our forecast that CPI inflation will return to the 2% target by the end of 2018 sets us apart from the MPC and consensus, which expect a more modest decline, to 2.4%.

16 May 2017 Sterling and Elections: Evidence from the Past Five Decades (Publication Centre)

It's now four weeks since the Prime Minister called a snap general election, and the Conservatives still are riding high in the opinion polls. The average of the last 10 polls suggests that the Tories are on track to take 47% of the vote, well above Labour's 30%.

13 March 2018 Piñera Takes Office in Chile Will he be Able to Deliver on his Promises? (Publication Centre)

The second presidency of Chile's conservative Sebastián Piñera, a billionaire turned politician, began on Sunday, March 11, in favourable economic circumstances.

14 June. 2016 Kuczynski is Good For Peru, But he Won't Find it Easy to Rule (Publication Centre)

Pedro Kuczynski, the centre-right candidate of the Peruvians for Change party, won the presidential election held in June 5th. Mr. Kuczynski, a former finance minister and World Bank economist, defeated Ms. Keiko Fujimori, the candidate of the conservative Fuerza Popular party, and the daughter of jailed former leader Alberto Fujimori. Mr. Kuczynski's margin of victory over Ms. Fujimori was fewer than 43K votes, or just 0.2%.

18 Sept. 2015 No Need to Put the Weekend on Hold for Greek Election Results (Publication Centre)

Greece goes to the polls this weekend, but unlike the chaos in the summer, we doubt it will be a nail-biting experience for investors. Polls put Syriza and the conservative New Democracy neck-and-neck, but neither party likely will be able to form a majority. Syriza has ruled out a grand coalition, which potentially means tricky negotiations with minority parties. But we are confident that any new government will be committed to euro membership, and a constructive dialogue with the EU and IMF.

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.

7 Apr. 2016 Peruvian Presidential Race Faces Rising Last-Minute Uncertainty (Publication Centre)

Ms Keiko Fujimori, the candidate of Peru's conservative Fuerza Popular party, seems on course to win the first round of the presidential election this Sunday, April 10. According to the latest Ipsos poll, the daughter of former President Alberto Fujimori continues to lead the race, with the support or about 34% of voters.

19 June 2018 The Continuity of Colombia's Free- Market Model is Assured (Publication Centre)

Iván Duque, the conservative candidate for the Democratic Centre Party, won the presidential election held in Colombia on Sunday.

Samuel Tombs

Samuel Tombs has more than a decade of experience covering the U.K. economy for investors. At Pantheon, Samuel's research is rigorous, free of dogma and jargon, and unafraid to challenge consensus views. His work focuses on what matters to professional investors: The links between the real economy, monetary policy and asset prices. He has a strong track record of getting the big calls right. The Sunday Times ranked Samuel as the most accurate forecaster of the U.K. economy in both 2014 and 2018. In addition, Bloomberg consistently has ranked Samuel as one of the top three U.K. forecasters, out of pool of 35 economists, throughout 2018 and 2019. His in-depth knowledge of market-moving data and his forensic forecasting approach explain why he consistently beats the consensus. Samuel's work on Brexit goes beyond simply reporting developments and is always analytical and unbiased, enabling investors to see through the noise of the daily headlines. While his analysis points to a particular path that politicians will take, he acknowledges the inherent uncertainty and draws out the economic and financial market implications of all plausible Brexit scenarios. Samuel holds an MSc in Economics from Birkbeck College, University of London and an undergraduate degree in History and Economics from the University of Oxford. Prior to joining Pantheon in 2015, he was Senior U.K. Economist at Capital Economics. In 2011, Samuel won the Society of Business Economists' prestigious Rybczynski Prize for an article on quantitative easing in the UK. He is based in London but frequently visits our other offices. Recent key calls include: 2018 - Correctly forecast that GDP growth would slow and inflation would undershoot the MPC's initial forecast, prompting the Committee to shock investors and almost other economists by waiting until August to raise Bank Rate, rather than pressing ahead in May. 2017 - Argued that the MPC was wrong to expect CPI inflation to stay below 3% following sterling's depreciation. He also highlighted that economic indicators pointed to the Conservatives losing their outright majority in the snap general election.

Business Insider - The Tories might not get the crushing victory they expect in this election (Media Centre)

Chief U.K. Economist Samuel Tombs discussing the General Election in June

CNBC - Can German shoppers save the euro zone? (Media Centre)

Chief Eurozone Economist Claus Vistesen on the latest German consumer figures

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