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Equity prices for companies dependent on the U.K.'s residential property market tumbled yesterday as several companies reported poor results for the first half of 2017. Most companies blamed a decline in housing transactions for falling profits.
Political uncertainty is starting to dampen housing market activity again.
The deadline for registering to vote in the general election passed on Tuesday, with a record 660K people registering on the final day.
MPs will be asked today to approve the PM's motion, proposed in accordance with the Fixed-term Parliaments Act--FTPA--to hold a general election on December 12.
The political momentum in the run-up to the election now lies with Labour.
May's E.C. Economic Sentiment survey was a blow to hopes that the six-month stay of execution on Brexit would facilitate a recovery in confidence.
Data from trade body U.K. Finance show that mortgage lending has remained unyielding in the face of heightened economic and political uncertainty.
Growth in households' disposable incomes has been supported in recent years by falling debt servicing costs. The proportion of households' incomes absorbed by interest payments fell to a record low of 4.5% in Q4 last year, down from 4.7% a year ago and a peak of 10% in 2008.
Mortgage approvals by the main high street banks dropped to a five-month low of 38.5K in September, from 39.2K in August, according to trade body U.K.Finance.
The mortgage market is continuing to hold up surprisingly well, given the calamitous political backdrop.
Mortgage approvals by the main high street banks collapsed to 36.1K in December--the lowest level since April 2013--from 39.0K in November, according to trade body U.K. Finance.
The Conservatives have continued to gain ground over the last week, with support averaging 43% across the 13 opinion polls conducted last week, up from 41% in the previous week.
Expectations that the MPC will raise Bank Rate again soon have taken a big knock over the last two weeks.
October's money data show that households and firms have regained the appetite for borrowing that they lost immediately after the referendum. But the recent rise in swap rates and the deterioration in consumers' confidence likely will cut short the revival in consumer lending, while persistent Brexit uncertainty likely will continue to subdue firms' investment intentions.
Britain looks set for a general election during the week commencing December 9, now that all main parties are pushing for a pre-Christmas poll.
The housing market perhaps is where the adverse impact of Brexit uncertainty can be seen most clearly.
The economic data calendar for next week is so congested that we need to preview early September's GDP report, released on Monday.
Investors now see a 50/50 chance of the MPC cutting Bank Rate within the next nine months, following the slightly dovish minutes of the MPC's meeting, and its new forecasts.
The process of refinancing existing mortgages at ever-lower interest rates has been a boon for the economy in recent years.
Financial markets have gone into another tailspin over the last fortnight, triggered by rising concern about the possibility of a no-deal Brexit and President Trump's threat of further tariffs on Chinese goods.
October's Markit/CIPS services survey suggests that the PM's new Brexit deal has had a lukewarm reception from firms.
For sterling traders, no election news is good news.
The downbeat tone of Markit's May manufacturing survey shouldn't come as a surprise, given the weak global backdrop and the inevitable fading of the boost to output from Brexit preparations.
2019 is a year many in the construction sector would prefer to forget.
The economic and political backdrop to this week's Monetary Policy Committee meeting is significantly more benign than when it last met on September 19.
Over the summer, both Chancellor Javid and PM Johnson appeared to be repositioning the Conservatives, claiming that the era of austerity was over and that higher levels of spending and investment were justified.
Support in opinion polls for both the Conservatives and Labour has been increasing steadily.
Investors think it more likely that the MPC will cut Bank Rate in the first half of next year, following Friday's release of the flash Markit/CIPS PMIs for November.
The PM now is at a fork in the road and will have to decide in the coming days whether to risk all and seek a general election, or restart the process of trying to get the Withdrawal Agreement Bill--WAB--through parliament.
October's 0.1% month-to-month fall in retail sales volumes was disappointing, following substantial improvements in the CBI, BRC and BDO survey measures.
The fall in CPI inflation to just 1.5% in October-- its lowest rate since November 2016--from 1.7% in September, isn't a game-changer for the monetary policy outlook.
We expect September's consumer prices report, released on Wednesday, to show that CPI inflation held steady at 1.7%, below the 1.8% consensus.
The Brexit-related slump in corporate confidence finally has taken its toll on hiring.
The case for the MPC to hold back from implementing more stimulus was bolstered by September's consumer prices figures.
We are fairly sanguine that government bond markets in the Eurozone will take the end of QE in their stride.
Another month, another strong set of labour market data which undermine the case for the MPC to cut Bank Rate, provided a no-deal Brexit is avoided.
The rate of deterioration in the labour market remains gradual enough for the MPC to hold back from cutting Bank Rate over the coming months.
October's consumer prices report, released on Wednesday, likely will show that CPI inflation has continued to drift further below the 2% target
Halifax's house price index rose by an eye catching 1.5% month-to-month in March, superficially suggesting that the housing market is reviving.
The latest GDP data continue to show that the economy is holding up well, despite the Brexit saga.
June's RICS Residential Market Survey brings hope that the housing market already is over the worst.
The headline figures from yesterday's GDP report gave a bad impression. September's 0.1% month-to- month decline in GDP matched the consensus and primarily reflected mean-reversion in car production and car sales, which both picked up in August.
PM Johnson has conceded considerable ground over the terms of Brexit for Northern Ireland in order to get a deal over the line in time for MPs to vote on it on Saturday, before the Benn Act requires him to seek an extension.
House prices are on course to rise only by around 2% this year, the smallest increase for five years.
The public finances are in better shape than October's figures suggest in isolation. Public sector net borrowing excluding public sector banks--PSNB ex.--leapt to £11.2B, from £8.9B a year earlier.
The government now has a 50:50 chance of getting the Withdrawal Agreement Bill--WAB--through parliament in the coming weeks, despite Letwin's successful amendment and the extension request.
Sterling briefly touched $1.30 yesterday, in response to signs that a very small majority in the Commons stands ready to vote for an unamended version of the Withdrawal Agreement Bill--WAB-- on Tuesday.
As we write, the Commons appears to be on the verge of voting for the Withdrawal Agreement Bill--WAB--at its second reading but then voting against the government's "Programme Motion", which sets out a very tight timetable for its passage through parliament, in a bid to meet the October 31 deadline and to minimise parliamentary scrutiny.
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.
Borrowing by local authorities from the Public Works Loan Board, used to finance capital projects-- and arguably dubious commercial property acquisitions--has surged this year.
Leading indicators are giving conflicting signals regarding the outlook for core goods CPI inflation.
Investors have welcomed the flurry of encouraging opinion polls for the Conservatives that were published over the weekend, with cable rising nearly to $1.30 on Monday, a level last seen on a sustained basis six months ago.
We doubt there will ever be a fail-safe leading indicator of when a recession is about to hit, but asset prices can help us to assess the risks, at least.
With campaigning for the general election intensifying last week, it was unsurprising that October's money and credit release from the Bank of England received virtually no media or market attention.
The MPC likely will raise interest rates today, but as we explained here, it probably will revise down its medium-term inflation forecast, signalling that it is content with the further 35bp tightening currently priced-in by markets for 2018.
The imminent boost to lending rates from the shut- down of the Term Funding Scheme at the end of this month is widely under-appreciated.
The Office for Budget Responsibility has decided to press ahead with the publication of new fiscal forecasts on November 7, despite the government's decision to postpone the Budget until after the next election.
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