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20 June. A Final Look at Post-Referendum Paths for Sterling (Publication Centre)

One way or the other, the post-referendum lurch in sterling will make its recent gyrations pale by comparison. If the U.K. votes to remain in the E.U.--as we continue to expect--then sterling likely will jump up to about $1.48 immediately afterwards. As our first chart shows, the gap between sterling and the level implied by the current difference between overnight index swap rates in the U.S. and Britain is currently about $0.05.

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 2017 Don't Hold Your Breath for Euro-Sterling Parity (Publication Centre)

Sterling's renewed depreciation to just €1.10--just below last year's nadir--has fuelled speculation that it could reach parity against the euro within the next year.

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.

2 December. 2016 Sterling's Depreciation Has Not Been a Boon for Manufacturers (Publication Centre)

The deterioration of the Markit/CIPS manufacturing survey in November should temper optimism about the potential benefits of sterling's depreciation. The PMI fell to 53.4 in November, from 54.2 in October.

17 January 2017 Will Policymakers Act to Stop Sterling Falling Further? (Publication Centre)

Sterling weakened further yesterday as anxiety grew that PM Theresa May will indicate she is seeking a "clean and hard Brexit" in a speech today. This could mean the U.K. leaves the EU's single market and customs union, in order to control immigration, shake off the jurisdiction of the European Court and have a free hand in trade negotiations with other countries.

18 Dec. 2015 Sterling Still a Major Constraint on Growth, Despite Its Recent Decline (Publication Centre)

The growing perception that the U.K. MPC will lag further behind the U.S. Fed in this tightening cycle than previously has pushed sterling down to $1.49, a long way below its post-recession peak of $1.72 in mid-2014. But this has done little to enhance the overall competitiveness of U.K. exports, and net trade still looks likely to exert a major drag on real GDP growth in 2016.

23 Feb. 2016 Would the MPC Just Let Sterling Drop Like a Stone? (Publication Centre)

Sterling will be under the spotlight again today when four members of the Monetary Policy Committee, including Governor Mark Carney, answer questions from the Treasury Select Committee about the recent Inflation Report.

24 May. Sterling's Rally After a "Bremain" Vote Will Fall Flat (Publication Centre)

Sterling is well below its $1.57 average of the last five years, despite rallying this month to about $1.45, from a low of $1.38 in late February. But hopes that cable will bounce back to its previous levels, after a vote to remain in the E .U., likely will be dashed.

7 November. 2016 Is Sterling Now Back on a Sustained Recovery Path? (Publication Centre)

Upbeat PMIs, the MPC's abandonment of its easing bias and the High Court ruling that only a parliamentary vote--and not the Prime Minister--can trigger Article 50, all helped sterling to make up some lost ground last week.

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.

4 October 2017 The Current Account Deficit Still Poses Downside Risks for Sterling (Publication Centre)

Sterling's depreciation has done little to remedy the U.K.'s dependence on external finance.

3 May. How Far Would Sterling Fall if Britain Chose Brexit? (Publication Centre)

Most of the time, sterling broadly tracks a path implied by the difference between markets' expectations for interest rates in the U.K. and overseas. During the financial crisis, however, sterling fell much further than interest rate differentials implied, as our first chart shows.

25 September 2017 Has Sterling's Rally Now Run Its Course? (Publication Centre)

The speed of sterling's rally this month has caught us by surprise.

29 June. 2016 Sterling Likely to be Higher at Year-End, as the Political Fog Lifts (Publication Centre)

Sterling found its feet yesterday, rising to $1.33 from Monday's 31-year low of 1.32, but it would be the height of folly to rule out a further short-term decline. By the end of this year, however, we think that sterling likely will have appreciated to around $1.38.

13 Jan. 2016 Sterling Has Not Priced-in Brexit Risks Yet, Despite Recent Plunge (Publication Centre)

Claims abound that sterling's sharp depreciation since the start of the year--to its lowest level against the dollar since May 2010--partly reflects the growing risk that the U.K. will vote to leave the European Union in the forthcoming referendum. We see little evidence to support this assertion. Sterling's decline to date can be explained by the weakness of the economic data, meaning that scope remains for Brexit fears to push the currency even lower this year.

4 April 2017 Sterling's Depreciation is a Mixed Blessing for Manufacturers (Publication Centre)

The latest Markit/CIPS manufacturing survey has dashed hopes that sterling's depreciation and the pickup in global trade will facilitate strong growth in U.K. production this year. The PMI dropped to 54.2 in March, from 54.6 in February.

11 January 2017 Import Substitution Will Be Modest, Despite Sterling's Depreciation (Publication Centre)

A year has now elapsed since sterling began its precipitous descent, and the trade data still have not improved. Net trade subtracted 0.9 percentage points from year-over-year growth in GDP in Q3. And while the trade deficit of £2.0B in October was the smallest since May, this followed extraordinarily large deficits in the previous two months. In fact, the trade deficit has been on a slightly deteriorating trend over the last year, as our first chart shows, and we expect today's data to show that the deficit re-widened to about £3.5B in November.

10 February 2017 Still no Sign of a Sustained Trade Boost From Sterling's Depreciation (Publication Centre)

Today's trade figures likely will continue to show that the benefits from sterling's depreciation are being outweighed by the costs. Exports still are barely growing, but consumers are about to endure a substantial import price shock. The monthly trade deficit has been extremely volatile over the last year, generating a series of excessively upbeat or gloomy headlines. The truth is that the deficit has been on a slightly deteriorating trend, as our first chart shows. We think the trade deficit likely narrowed to £3.8B in December, from £4.2B in November, bringing it closer to its rolling 12-month average of £3.0B.

10 October. 2016 The Sterling Crisis has Tied Policymakers' Hands (Publication Centre)

The U.K.'s dependence on large inflows of external finance was laid alarmingly b are last week, when "hard" Brexit talk by politicians caused overseas investors to give sterling assets a wide berth. Investors now are demanding extra compensation for holding U.K. assets, because the medium-term outlook is so uncertain.

26 May 2017 Soft GDP Shows Sterling's Drop to be the Least Successful Ever (Publication Centre)

The second estimate of Q1 GDP made for grim reading. Quarter-on-quarter GDP growth was revised down to 0.2%--the joint-slowest rate since Q4 2012--from the preliminary estimate of 0.3%.

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.

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.

24 February 2017 Is Sterling's Depreciation a Blessing or a Curse for Profits? (Publication Centre)

This week's GDP figures showed that firms invested only sparingly in 2016, but their financial fortunes have been bolstered by a recovery in profits. The gross operating surplus of all firms rose by 4.5% quarter-on-quarter in Q4, the biggest increase for 11 quarters. This pushed the share of GDP absorbed by profits up to 21.3%, just above its 60-year average of 21.2%.

18 July. 2016 Will Fiscal Loosening and Sterling's Drop Stave off Recession? (Publication Centre)

With plenty of evidence emerging that consumer spending and business investment are set to suffer from a collapse in confidence, attention is turning to whether other sectors of the economy are ready to step up and support growth. But the fruits from reduced fiscal contraction and stronger net trade will be small and will take a long time to emerge.

08 Jan. 2016 Sterling, Not EM Weakness, Will Hold Exports Back (Publication Centre)

The Chancellor argued in a speech on Thursday that the U.K.'s economic recovery is threatened by a "dangerous cocktail" of overseas risks, including slowing growth in the BRICs--Brazil, Russia, India, and China--and escalating tensions in the Middle East. Exports are set to struggle this year, but the strong pound, not weakness in emerging markets, will be the main drag.

13 September 2016 Sterling is Already Stoking Price Pressures, More to Come (Publication Centre)

August's consumer price figures, released today, likely will show that households' spending power is being increasingly eroded by rising inflation. We think CPI inflation picked up to 0.8%, from 0.6% in July, exceeding the consensus, 0.7%, for the third consecutive month.

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.

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%.

24 July 2017 High Inflation Won't Last as Long as Markets Expect (Publication Centre)

After pricing-in the consequences of sterling's depreciation for inflation last year only slowly, markets are at risk of costly inertia again.

22 March 2017 Inflation Will Continue to Exceed the MPC's Forecast (Publication Centre)

February's consumer price figures provided hard evidence that the import price shock, caused by sterling's depreciation last year, is filtering through faster than the MPC expected. We expect CPI inflation to continue to exceed the forecast set out in February's Inflation Report.

23 May. Is it Premature to Relax About Brexit Risk? (Publication Centre)

Sterling rebounded last week and the probability of a Brexit, implied by betting markets, fell from 30% to 20%. The gap between cable and interest rate expectations, which opened up at the start of this year, appears to have closed completely, as our first chart shows. Sterling's rally in April quickly ran out of steam, but the evidence that support for "Bremain" has risen recently is persuasive.

10 August. 2016 Trade Data Show Depreciations Take Time to Boost Growth (Publication Centre)

June's trade figures yesterday highlighted that it takes more than just a few months for exchange rate depreciations to boost GDP growth. The trade-weighted sterling index dropped by 9% between November and June as the risk of Brexit loomed large and the prospect of imminent increases in interest rates receded.

29 Feb. 2016 The Weaker Pound has not Transformed the Export Outlook (Publication Centre)

In theory, any hit to sentiment and business investment as the E.U. referendum nears could be offset by a better foreign trade performance, due to the Brexit-related depreciation of sterling. But not every cloud has a silver lining.

6 September. 2016 Too Soon to Breathe a Sigh of Relief on Recession Risk (Publication Centre)

The improvement in the August services PMI has generated hyperbolic headlines suggesting the U.K. is on a tear despite the Brexit vote. Taken literally, however, the PMIs suggest that the revival in business activity in August only partially reversed July's decline. Meanwhile, the impact of sterling's sharp depreciation on the purchasing power of firms and consumers has only just begun to be felt.

8 December 2017 Chinese Outflows Picking up? FX Reserves to Fall Again in 2018 (Publication Centre)

China's FX reserves rose to $3119B in November from $3109B in October. But the increase is explained by simultaneous yen, euro and sterling strength, which raises the dollar value of assets denominated in these currencies.

9 September. 2016 iPhone Price Hike Underlines Incoming In ation Shock (Publication Centre)

The consequences of sterling's sharp depreciation for inflation were brought home yesterday by the news that the iPhone 7 will cost more than its predecessor. The entry-level version is priced at £60 more than its iPhone 6S equivalent. Of course, the new version is more advanced, but the fact that the dollar price held steady, at $649, demonstrates the U.K. price hike entirely is due to the adverse impact of the weaker pound.

12 May. Carney Unlikely to Fuel Post-Brexit Rate Cut Speculation (Publication Centre)

The renewed fall in market interest rates and sterling this month indicates that markets expect the MPC to strike a dovish note at midday, when the Inflation Report is published, alongside the rate decision and minutes of this week's meeting.

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.

1 Dec. 2015 The Real Net Trade Drag on U.K. Growth is Still to Come (Publication Centre)

It's tempting to conclude from the third quarter's GDP figures, which showed output rising 0.5% quarter-on-quarter, despite a record drag from net trade, that the U.K. economy is comfortably weathering sterling's appreciation. But a closer look at the data shows the net trade drag is the counterparty to some erratic inventory movements. The real net trade hit is still to come.

28 September 2016 No Scope For Complacency on Inflation as Import Prices Rise (Publication Centre)

Our forecast that CPI inflation will shoot up to about 3% in the second half of 2017, from 0.6% last month, assumes that pass-through from the exchange rate to consumer goods prices will be as swift and complete as in the past. Our first chart shows that this relationship has held firm recently, with core goods prices falling at the rate implied by sterling's appreciation in 2014 and 2015.

29 August 2017 Is it Time to Turn Positive on the Outlook for Net Foreign Trade? (Publication Centre)

Britain still has nothing to show for sterling's depreciation, even though nearly two years have passed since markets started to price-in Brexit risk, driving the currency lower.

3 May 2017 April's Higher Manufacturing PMI Won't Be Sustained (Publication Centre)

The Markit/CIPS manufacturing PMI shot up to a three-year high of 57.3 in April, from 54.2 in March, bringing an end to the run of downbeat news on the economy. The performance of the U.K. manufacturing sector, however, remains underwhelming, given the magnitude of sterling's depreciation.

1 June. How to Read the Tea Leaves Before and On Referendum Night (Publication Centre)

Sterling's fall yesterday to $1.45 from $1.46 after the release of online and phone opinion polls from ICM both showing a three percentage point lead for "Leave" over "Remain" underlines that it not a formality that the U.K. will be a full member of the E.U. this time next month.

22 August. 2016 Will Inflation be the Dog That Doesn't Bark, Again? (Publication Centre)

The period of surprisingly low inflation following sterling's plunge when the UK left the Exchange Rate Mechanism in September 1992 appears to challenge our view that inflation will overshoot the MPC's 2% target over the next couple of years. As our first chart shows, CPI inflation averaged just 2.5% in 1993 and 2% in 1994, even though trade-weighted sterling plunged by 15% and import prices surged.

16 June 2017 Chinese Growth to Slump Under the Burden of Deleveraging (Publication Centre)

Wednesday's money data confirmed that Chinese households have continued to borrow into Q2 but at a slower rate than in 2016. The slowdown will really set in during the second half, and into 2018. Households have done a sterling job of taking over the borrowing baton from corporates, but they can't do everything.

21 June. How Soon Will we Know the Referendum Result? (Publication Centre)

Investors will have to keep their wits about them following the close of polls at 22:00 BST on Thursday. Sterling and other asset prices will move sharply when the likely result of the U.K.'s E.U. referendum is discernible, but exactly when that point will come during the night is uncertain.

19 August. 2016 The Consumer Bubble Will Pop Around the Year-End (Publication Centre)

It would be a serious mistake to conclude from July's retail sales figures that consumers' spending will be immune to the fallout of the Brexit vote. Households have yet to endure the hiring freeze and pay squeeze indicated by surveys of employers, or the price surge signalled by sterling's sharp depreciation. The real test for consumers' spending lies ahead.

15 August. 2016 July Inflation Figures to Show Adverse Brexit Impact (Publication Centre)

July's consumer price figures, due tomorrow, likely will bring early evidence that sterling's Brexit-driven depreciation already is pushing up inflation. We think that CPI inflation picked up to 0.6% in July from 0.5% in June, exceeding the consensus forecast for an unchanged reading. Experience of past depreciations suggests that July's figures likely won't be the last time the consensus is surprised by the speed of the rise in inflation.

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.

12 Jan. 2016 Drop in November Production to Set the Tone for Q4 GDP (Publication Centre)

November's industrial production figures, released today, look set to surprise the consensus to the downside, underscoring our view that the economic recovery is continuing to lose momentum. Moreover, with sterling remaining uncompetitive, despite depreciating over recent weeks, and lower oil prices making extracting oil from the North Sea unprofitable, the industrial sector likely will impede the economic recovery further in 2016.

13 January 2017 The MPC Is In For a Nasty Inflation Shock This Year (Publication Centre)

Over the last decade, the MPC has underestimated the extent and duration of departures of CPI inflation from the 2% target. Inflation exceeded the MPC's expectations in the early 2010s, as policymakers underestimated the impact of sterling's prior depreciation and overestimated the role that slack would play in stifling price pressures. Inflation also undershot the MPC's forecast between 2014 and 2016, when sterling's appreciation reduced import prices.

13 June 2017 May's Inflation Figures Likely Will Bring Another Upside Surprise (Publication Centre)

May's consumer price figures, released today, will provide the first clean inflation read for three months, following the distortions created by this year's late Easter. Consensus forecasts and the MPC have underestimated CPI inflation regularly since the middle of last year, when the impact of sterling's depreciation began to push into the data.

19 December 2016 How Much Support can Tourism Provide to the Economy? (Publication Centre)

The media abounds with anecdotal evidence of a pickup in domestic and inbound tourism following sterling's sharp depreciation, but the reality is that the weaker pound has not had a tangible positive impact yet.

17 October 2017 Markets' Expectations for RPI Inflation Still Look Too High (Publication Centre)

Swap rates imply that markets expect RPI inflation to settle within a 3.3% to 3.5% range over the next five years, once the boost from sterling's depreciation has faded.

11 October. 2016 The MPC Won't Ignore Inflation This Time (Publication Centre)

If sustained, sterling's recent depreciation looks set to drive CPI inflation up to about 3.5% by the end of next year.

11 September 2017 Will the MPC Step up its Rhetoric to Support the Pound? (Publication Centre)

The key question for the MPC at this week's meeting is whether it is prepared to tolerate the consequences for inflation of sterling's further depreciation since its last meeting in August.

20 September 2016 Will Weaker Sterling Ride to the Economy's Rescue? (Publication Centre)

Hopes that the economy will not slow over the next year are largely pinned on the idea that net trade will be boosted by the drop in sterling. The pound has tracked sideways over the last two months and is about 15% below its trade-weighted peak in November 2015.

NEWS.MARKETS - Sterling markets accused of inflation complacency (Media Centre)

Chief U.K. Economist Samuel Tombs on U.K. Inflation

15 July. 2016 Autos Will Depress Headline June Spending, Core Picture is Fine (Publication Centre)

When the dust settles after today's wave of data, we expect to have learned that core retail sales continued to rise in June, core inflation nudged back up to its cycle high, and manufacturing output rebounded after an auto-led drop in May. None of these reports will be enough to push the Fed into early action, but they will add to the picture of a reasonably solid domestic economy ahead of the U.K. Brexit referendum.

15 May 2017 April's Consumer Price Figures Will Surprise to the Upside (Publication Centre)

April's consumer price figures, released on Tuesday, look set to reveal that CPI inflation jumped to 2.7%--its highest rate since September 2013--from 2.3% in March. Inflation likely will be driven up entirely by a jump in the cor e rate to 2.3%, from 1.8% in March.

16 Feb. 2016 E.U. Referendum Carries Risks, But A Current Account Crisis Isn't One (Publication Centre)

The starting gun for the "Brexit" referendum will be fired this week if E.U. leaders, who meet for a two-day summit starting Thursday, agree to the draft reform package assembled by Prime Minister and E.U. President Donald Tusk.

13 February 2017 Too Soon to Conclude the Economy is Finally Rebalancing (Publication Centre)

Data on industrial production and trade released last week have fanned hopes that the U.K.'s growth model is moving away from its excessive reliance on household spending, and towards production and exports. But a close look at the underlying drivers of the strong headline figures suggests that it is too soon to hope that the economy is undergoing a major rebalancing.

17 July 2017 CPI Inflation Likely Held Steady in June, but will Exceed 3% Soon (Publication Centre)

Economists are divided evenly on whether Tuesday's consumer price figures will show that CPI inflation held steady at 2.9% or edged down to 2.8% in June.

14 Mar. Will the MPC Mull an Interest Rate Cut this Week? (Publication Centre)

This week's key market event likely will be the Monetary Policy Committee's meeting on Thursday, rather than the Budget on Wednesday, which probably will see the Chancellor stick to his previous tough fiscal plans.

14 March 2017 A Hard Brexit is not Inevitable, Despite the Government's Rhetoric (Publication Centre)

With just days to go until the Government triggers Article 50, the consensus view remains that Britain is heading for a "hard" Brexit, which will leave it without unrestricted access to the single market and outside the customs union. We think this view overlooks how political pressures likely will change over the next two years.

14 June. Higher Inflation to Highlight Broad Recovery in Cost Pressures (Publication Centre)

We expect today's consumer prices figures to show that CPI inflation picked up to 0.5% in May, from 0.3% in April, exceeding the 0.4% rate anticipated by both the consensus and the MPC, in last month's Inflation Report. We expect the increase to be driven by a jump in the core rate to 1.4%, from 1.2% in April.

14 June 2017 The Squeeze on Real Wages is Intensifying Rapidly (Publication Centre)

CPI inflation increased to 2.9% in May, from 2.7% in April, exceeding the no-change expectation of both the consensus and the MPC, as well as our own 2.8% forecast.

17 August. 2016 Job Vacancy Data to Give Early Steer on Recession Odds (Publication Centre)

Today's labour market figures will provide the first "hard data" showing how the economy has fared since the referendum. The headline employment and unemployment numbers will refer to the three months ending June, but data for July will be published on the number of people claiming unemployment benefit and the level of job vacancies.

16 January 2017 Inflation Will Soon Be Marching Upwards in Double Time (Publication Centre)

December's consumer price figures, released tomorrow, likely will reveal that CPI inflation rose to 1.4%--its highest rate since August 2014--from 1.2% in November. Inflation will take even bigger upward steps over the coming months as the anniversary of sharp falls in commodity prices is reached and retailers pass on hefty increases in import prices to consumers.

14 February 2017 Brace for January Data to Show Another Hefty Rise in CPI Inflation (Publication Centre)

January's consumer price report, released today, likely will show that CPI inflation jumped to 1.9%--its highest rate since June 2014--from 1.6% in December. Inflation will continue to take big upward steps over the coming months, as retailers pass on to consumers large increase in import prices and energy companies increase tariffs.

21 December 2016 Big Current Account Deficit Likely to Cloud Resilient GDP Picture (Publication Centre)

The third quarter national accounts, due to be published on Friday, likely will not alter the picture of economic resilience immediately after the referendum. The latest estimate of GDP growth often is revised in this release, but revisions have not exceeded 0.1 percentage points in either direction in the last four years, as our first chart shows.

25 August 2017 Trade and Investment are Failing to Offset the Consumption Slowdown (Publication Centre)

The second estimate of GDP left the estimate of quarter-on-quarter growth unrevised at 0.3%, a trivial improvement on Q1's 0.2% gain.

24 May 2017 Weak Tax Receipts Cast Doubt on Business Surveys' Optimism (Publication Centre)

April's public finances indicate that the economy has remained weak in Q2, casting doubt on the suggestion from recent business surveys that the slowdown in Q1 was just a blip.

24 June. Initial Thoughts on the U.K.'s Shock Brexit Vote (Publication Centre)

Britain's shock vote to leave the E.U. has unleashed a wave of economic and political uncertainty that likely will drive the U.K. into recession.

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.

26 October. 2016 Consumer Energy Price Rises Are in the Pipeline (Publication Centre)

Sharp falls in energy prices have been a boon for consumers, freeing up considerable funds for discretionary purchases. Domestic energy and motor fuel absorbed just 4.7% of consumers' spending in Q2, the lowest proportion for 12 years and well below the 6.7% recorded three years ago.

28 June 2017 Inflation Forecast Revisions in August won't Force the MPC's Hand (Publication Centre)

The minutes of the MPC's meeting in June indicated that several members' patience for tolerating for above-target inflation is wearing thin.

28 April 2017 Preliminary GDP Estimate Likely to Reveal Q1 Slowdown (Publication Centre)

The preliminary estimate of Q1 GDP looks set to show that the economy started 2017 on a weak footing. We share the consensus view that quarter-on-quarter GDP growth slowed to 0.4%, from 0.7% in Q4.

27 October. 2016 GDP Set to Exceed the Consensus in Q3, But Underwhelm Thereafter (Publication Centre)

Today's preliminary estimate of Q3 GDP looks set to indicate that the Brexit vote has had little detrimental impact on the economy so far.

24 June. 2016 Brexit Implications for the U.S: No Immediate Fed Easing (Publication Centre)

The U.K.'s unexpected vote for Brexit means a stronger dollar for the foreseeable future, a sharp though likely containable drop in U.S. stock prices, and a further delay before the Fed next raises rates. The vote does not necessarily mean the U.K. actually will leave the EU, because the policy choices now facing leaders of Union have changed dramatically. An offer of substantial concessions on the migration issue--the single biggest driver of the Leave vote-- might be enough to trigger a second referendum, but this is a consideration for another day.

24 August 2017 Second Estimate of Q2 GDP to Show U.K. Missing out on G7 Boom (Publication Centre)

We expect today's second estimate of Q2 GDP to confirm that the U.K. has been the slowest growing G7 economy this year.

2 June 2017 The Manufacturing Sector won't put the Economy Back on Track (Publication Centre)

The manufacturing sector's recovery has sped up since Q1, according to Markit's latest survey, but growth still looks too weak to prevent the overall economy from struggling again in Q2.

2 August. 2016 The Inflation Outlook Will Tie the MPC's Hands (Publication Centre)

The pronounced weakness of activity surveys conducted since the referendum and the Governor's guidance in June, reinforced by the minutes of July's MPC meeting, indicate that a rate cut on Thursday is virtually guaranteed.

2 August 2017 An Advance Preview of July's Consumer Price Figures (Publication Centre)

July's consumer price figures--published on August 15th, while we are on vacation--look set to show that June's drop in CPI inflation was just a blip. We think that CPI inflation ticked up to 2.7% in July, from 2.6% in June, on track to slightly exceed 3% toward the end of this year.

21 August 2017 The Peak in CPI Inflation Still Hasn't Been Reached Yet (Publication Centre)

After soaring in the Spring, inflation has slipped back in the Summer. July's consumer prices report, released while we were away last week, showed that CPI inflation held steady at 2.6% in July, one -tenth below the consensus and three tenths below May's year-to-date peak.

12 October. 2016 The Rise in Gilt Yields Won't Run Out of Steam (Publication Centre)

Gilt yields have risen sharply over the last month, even though the Monetary Policy Committee is just one-third of the way through the £60B bond purchase programme announced in August. Government bond yields in other G7 economies also have increased, but not as much as in Britain.

23 June. The Polls are Wrong to Suggest Brexit is a 50:50 Risk (Publication Centre)

On the eve of the referendum, opinion polls continue to suggest that the result is essentially a coin toss. The latest online polls point to a neck-and-neck race, while telephone polls point to a narrow Remain victory.

21 Mar. Upside Inflation Surprise in February Unlikely to be the Last (Publication Centre)

February's consumer price figures, released tomorrow, are likely to show that CPI inflation has picked up again, perhaps to 0.5%--the highest rate since December 2014--from 0.3% in January. This will give the Monetary Policy Committee more confidence in its judgement that CPI inflation will be back at the 2% target in two years' time.

21 July. 2016 The Retail Sales Surge Likely Met an Abrupt End in June (Publication Centre)

Household spending has been the sole source of growth in the economy so far this year, amid worsening investment and net trade. Today's official retail sales figures, however, look set to show that consumers suffered the Brexit blues in June.

18 October 2017 Weak Underlying Price Pressures Give the MPC Scope to Wait (Publication Centre)

A November interest rate rise is far from the done deal that markets still anticipate, even though CPI inflation rose to 3.0% in September from 2.9% in August.

3 Nov. 2015 Manufacturing Unlikely to be Past the Worst (Publication Centre)

The sharp and unexpected improvement in the Markit/CIPS manufacturing survey in October released on Monday raised hopes that the recession in the industrial sector might be over. A cool look at the evidence, however, suggests that this probably is just wishful thinking.

30 June 2017 Q1 National Accounts Won't Meet the Governor's Rate Hike Criteria (Publication Centre)

Markets will be extremely sensitive to economic data in the run-up to the MPC's next meeting on August 3, following signals from several Committee members that they think the cas e for a rate rise has strengthened.

8 Apr. The Trade Deficit Will Remain Bloated, Despite the Weaker Pound (Publication Centre)

Net trade has been a major drag on the economy's growth rate in recent quarters, and February's trade figures, released today, are likely to signal another dismal performance in the first quarter.

30 September 2016 Britain is Turning to Debt to Maintain an Illusion of Prosperity (Publication Centre)

Today's balance of payments figures for the second quarter likely will underline that the U.K. has financed strong growth in domestic consumption by amassing debts with the rest of the world at a breakneck pace.

30 January 2017 Will the Inflation Report Support Markets' 2017 Rate Hike View? (Publication Centre)

Markets' expectations for official interest rates have shifted up over the last fortnight, and the consensus view now is that the MPC will hike rates before the end of this year. As our first chart shows, the implied probability of interest rates breaching 0.25% in December 2017 now slightly exceeds 50%.

3 November. 2016 MPC to Catch Out Markets Again with Lingering Dovish Tone (Publication Centre)

Markets are pricing-in just a 10% chance of the MPC cutting interest rates again within the next six months, odds that look too low given the strong likelihood that the economic recovery loses more pace.

8 May 2017 Inflation Report Likely to Reaffirm Slim Chances of a 2017 Rate Hike (Publication Centre)

This week's MPC meeting and Inflation Report likely will support the dominant view in markets that the chances of a 2017 rate hike are remote, even though inflation will rise further above the 2% target over the coming months. Overnight index swap markets currently are pricing-in only a 20% chance of an increase in Bank Rate this year.

3 November 2017 The MPC Signals no Rush to Hike Rates Again (Publication Centre)

Markets were surprised yesterday by the absence of hawkish comments or guidance accompanying the MPC's decision to raise interest rates to 0.50%, from 0.25%.

31 August. 2016 Cheaper Borrowing Costs Won't Reignite Firms' Investment Appetite (Publication Centre)

July's money and credit figures provided more evidence that firms have become reluctant to invest following the Brexit vote. Lending by U.K. banks to private non-financial companies--PNFCs--rose by just 0.2% month-to-month in July, below the average 0.5% increase of the previous six months.

31 March 2017 Q4 National Accounts will Show Stronger, but Fragile, Growth (Publication Centre)

The national accounts look set to show that GDP growth in the fourth quarter was even stronger than previously estimated. Earlier this month, quarter-on-quarter growth in construction output in Q4 was revised up to 1.2%, from 0.2%. As a result, construction's contribution to GDP growth will rise by 0.07 percentage points.

6 June 2017 May Services PMI Dents Second Quarter Rebound Hopes (Publication Centre)

The fall in the services PMI to 53.8 in May, from 55.8 in April, is a setback for hopes that the slowdown in GDP growth in Q1 will be fleeting. Both business activity and orders rose at their slowest rates since February.

7 April 2017 What Place will QE have in the Bank's Future Policy Mix? (Publication Centre)

Markets were jolted yesterday by news that the U.S. Fed is mulling ending, or at least slowing, the reinvestment of Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities later this year. Such a move would reduce liquidity in global markets that has underpinned soaring equity prices in recent years.

4 January 2017 Stronger Surveys Should Not Foster Optimism about Manufacturing (Publication Centre)

A cluster of surveys suggest that the manufacturing sector finished 2016 with a flourish, after a dismal performance for most of the year. But momentum will drain away from the sector's recovery in 2017, as higher oil prices make low value-added work unprofitable again and resurgent inflation causes domestic consumer demand to crumble.

7 July 2017 Production Likely Jumped in May, but Q2 GDP Still Will b e Soft (Publication Centre)

Markets likely will be particularly sensitive to May's industrial production and construction output figures, released today, as they will provide a guide to the strength of the preliminary estimate of Q2 GDP, released shortly before the MPC's key meeting on August 3.

7 November 2017 Car Sales are Falling Rapidly, with no End in Sight (Publication Centre)

The downturn in car sales is showing no sign of abating. Data released yesterday by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders showed that private registrations fell 10.1% year-over-year in October, much worse than the 6.6% average drop in the previous 12 months.

31 October. 2016 MPC Likely to Reaffirm Easing Bias, to Markets Surprise (Publication Centre)

The MPC would have to change tack sharply on Thursday in order to live up to the markets' expectation that there is a near-zero chance of another rate cut within the next year.

28 June. 2016 Will Higher Inflation Keep Further Monetary Easing at Bay? (Publication Centre)

The Chancellor indicated yesterday that the current fiscal plans--which set out a 1% of GDP reduction in the structural budget deficit this year--will remain in place until a new Prime Minister is chosen by September 2. So for now, the burden of leaning against the imminent downturn is on the MPC's shoulders.

3 November 2017 Asian Policy Divergence Can't Continue. PBoC to Fold First (Publication Centre)

The two major central banks in Asia currently have hugely different aims, causing a policy divergence that won't survive the 2018 rise in external yields.

10 November. 2016 Market Reaction to Trump Shows Britain is No Longer a Safe-haven (Publication Centre)

Donald Trump's victory casts a shadow of political uncertainty over what had appeared to be a decent outlook for the U.S economy. The U.K.'s trade and financial ties with the U.S., however, are small enough to mean that any downturn on the other side of the Atlantic will have little impact on Britain.

1 September. 2016 The Case for a Bounce-Back in the PMIs is Unconvincing (Publication Centre)

The Markit/CIPS PMIs for August, slated for release over the next three business days, will be closely watched. They have provided the most resounding indication, so far, that Britain is heading for a recession. In July, the composite PMI--comprised of the manufacturing and services indices--fell to 47.5, from 52.4 in June, its biggest month-to-month fall since records began in 1998.

11 April 2017 Markets Still aren't Fully Prepared for a Further Rise in RPI Inflation (Publication Centre)

Investors have been caught out by the speed of the recent rise in RPI inflation and have revised up their expectations. Even so, inflation swaps imply that markets expect RPI inflation to be 3.6% in one year's time, not much above the latest print, 3.2% in February. We still think RPI inflation will exceed markets' expectations.

11 Dec. 2015 The MPC is Independent, But it Cannot Ignore Other Central Banks (Publication Centre)

The MPC's asserted its independence in the minutes of December's meeting, firmly stating that there is "no mechanical link between UK policy and those of other central banks". Markets have interpreted this as supporting their view that the MPC won't be rushed into raising interest rates by the Fed's actions. Investors now expect a nine-month gap between the Fed hike we anticipate next week, and the first move in the U.K.

12 December 2017 CPI Inflation Likely Peaked in November, but Will Soon Fall Swiftly (Publication Centre)

Today's consumer prices figures likely will show that CPI inflation increased to 3.1% in November, from 3.0% in October.

11 Feb. 2016 Markets Still Underestimate the Looming Pick-Up in Inflation (Publication Centre)

Markets' inflation expectations have fallen in recent weeks, maintaining the trend seen over the previous 18 months. The fall in expectations for the next year or so is justified by the sharp fall in oil prices. But expectations for inflation further ahead have drifted down too, even though lower oil prices will have no effect on the annual comparison of prices beyond a year or so from now.

09 Mar. 2016 Production Still on a Downward Trend, Despite Likely January Rise (Publication Centre)

Figures released today look set to reveal that industrial production rose in January by the biggest percentage since August. But this will simply reflect a rebound in demand for heating energy after extreme weakness late last year. The oil and manufacturing sectors remain on course for an extremely challenging year.

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.

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.

8 September 2017 China Probably is Content with its Modest "Safe-haven" Role, for now (Publication Centre)

Geopolitical tensions have risen sharply for Asia in the last few months, yet the RMB has appreciated sharply. China's currency appears to be playing some kind of safe haven role.

3 April 2017 Q4 Consumers' Spending Spree Will End Abruptly This Year (Publication Centre)

The national accounts for the fourth quarter showed that the economy relied on households slashing their saving rate to a record low in order to spend more. Now, growth in consumer spending will have to fall back in line with real incomes, which will increasingly be impaired by rising inflation.

28 November. 2016 GDP Won't Sustain its Recent Momentum Next Year (Publication Centre)

The second estimate of Q3 GDP last week confirmed that the Brexit vote didn't immediately drain momentum from the economic recovery. But it is extremely difficult to see how growth will remain robust next year, when high inflation will cripple consumers and the impact of the decline in investment intentions will be felt.

04 Feb. 2016 Inflation Report Unlikely to Support the Markets' Dovish Pricing (Publication Centre)

The recent slide in market interest rates suggests investors expect the Monetary Policy Committee--MPC--to strike a dovish note today, when the decision and minutes of this week's meeting are released and the Inflation Report is published, at 12.00 GMT.

28 March 2017 Could a Rebounding Eurozone Prevent a U.K. Slowdown? (Publication Centre)

Business surveys coming out of the Eurozone have been remarkably strong recently. The composite PMI for the Eurozone jumped to 56.7 in March--its highest level since April 2011--from 56.1 in February. Germany's IFO business climate index leaped to a 67-month high in March.

12 October 2017 The MPC Hasn't Been Afraid to Dash Rate Hike Hopes in the Past (Publication Centre)

It often is argued that the MPC will raise interest rates in November--even if the economic data are not pressuring the Committee to tighten--because markets would go into a tailspin if the MPC failed to meet their expectations.

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.

3 June. Brexit Would Hit All Sterling Asset Values, Gilts Included (Publication Centre)

On the face of it, the outperformance of gilts compared to government bonds in other developed countries this year suggests that Brexit would be a boon for the gilt market. In the event of an exit, however, we think that the detrimental impact of higher gilt issuance, rising risk premia and weaker overseas demand would overwhelm the beneficial influence of stronger domestic demand for safe-haven assets, pushing gilt yields higher.

10 Feb. 2016 Downside Production Surprise to Take its Toll on Sterling (Publication Centre)

December's industrial production figures, released today, look set to surprise the consensus to the downside, pushing down the pound and increasing the chances that the preliminary estimate of a 0.5% quarter-on-quarter increase in fourth quarter GDP will be revised down.

29 November. 2016 Bank Stress Tests Look Tough, But They Exclude Key Sterling Risks (Publication Centre)

The health of the banking system will be under the spotlight on Wednesday, when the Bank of England publishes the results of its 2016 bank stress tests and its biannual Financial Stability Report.

12 December 2016 Japan's Depreciation Didn't Boost Growth, Why Would Britain's? (Publication Centre)

Japan is the only major advanced economy to have recently experienced an exchange rate depreciation as large as Britain's. Between July 2012 and May 2013, the yen f ell by 24%, matching sterling's depreciation since its peak in August 2015.

13 July 2017 Don't Extrapolate from May's Uptick in Basic Wage Growth (Publication Centre)

Yesterday's labour market data gave sterling a shot in the arm on t wo counts. First, the headline, three-month average, unemployment rate fell to just 4.5% in May, from 4.6% in April.

15 Jan. 2016 Equity Price Drop Not Yet Big Enough to Darken Growth Outlook (Publication Centre)

The FTSE 100 fell further yesterday, briefly to levels not seen since November 2012, but its drop over recent months is not a convincing signal of impending economic disaster. The economic recovery is likely to slow further, but this will reflect the building fiscal squeeze and the sterling-related export hit much more than the wobble in market sentiment.

12 April 2017 Inflation Pressures Remain more Intense than the MPC Expected (Publication Centre)

CPI inflation held steady at 2.3% in March, as we and the consensus had expected. Nonetheless, the consumer price figures boosted sterling and bond yields, as the details of the report made it clear that inflation is on a very steep upward path.

1 July. 2016 The MPC Likely Will Dash Expectations of Substantial Easing (Publication Centre)

Mark Carney's assertion that "...some monetary policy easing will likely be required over the summer" is a clear signal that an interest rate cut is in the pipeline. But easing likely will be modest, due to the much higher outlook for inflation following sterling's precipitous decline.

*April 2017 - U.K. Economic Chartbook* (Publication Centre)

Rising Inflation is Causing a Sharp Slowdown...Sterling's Depreciation has been Harmful so Far

*August 2017 - U.K. Economic Chartbook* (Publication Centre)

Sterling's fall is hurting more than it's helping...Slow GDP and wage growth will keep the MPC inactive

*Nov. 2016 - U.K.. Economic Chartbook* (Publication Centre)

Exports won't offset a Consumer Slowdown...Sterling decline has Constrained Policymakers

16 June 2017 What Do the Internal MPC Members Need to See to Raise Rates? (Publication Centre)

Sterling received a shot in the arm yesterday following the release of the minutes of the MPC's meeting, which revealed that three members voted to raise interest rates to 0.50%, from 0.25% currently. Markets and economists--including ourselves--had expected another 7-1 split, but Ian McCafferty and Michael Saunders switched sides and joined Kristin Forbes in seeking higher rates.

10 June. April's 'Surge' in Exports Does Not Point to a Brexit Silver Lining (Publication Centre)

News yesterday that exports surged to a record high in April was leapt on as "evidence" that sterling's Brexit-related weakness already is having positive side-effects and that therefore the economy would be relatively unscathed by a Brexit. However appealing this explanation may sound, it is nonsense.

17 May 2017 CPI Inflation Still has Further to Climb this Year (Publication Centre)

The jump in CPI inflation to 2.7% in April, from 2.3% in March, was only partly to a temporary boost from the later timing of Easter this year. Indeed, inflation likely will rise further over the coming months as food, energy and core goods prices all continue to pick up in response to last year's depreciation of sterling.

2 Nov. 2015 Inflation Report Likely to Jolt Markets Back to Their Senses (Publication Centre)

It's probably just a coincidence that "Super Thursday" coincides with Guy Fawkes night, when Britons launch fireworks to commemorate an attempt to blow up parliament in 1605. Nonetheless, the Monetary Policy Committee looks likely to light the touch-paper for a big rise in market interest rates and sterling, by signalling that it intends to raise Bank Rate in the Spring, about six months earlier than investors currently expect.

27 Apr. Markets' View that Brexit Odds Have Declined Looks Premature (Publication Centre)

Sterling has rallied against both the dollar and the euro over the last week on the assumption that interventions by the U.K. Treasury and President Obama in the Brexit debate have shifted public opinion towards remaining in the E.U.

4 December 2017 Britain Will be Forever Stuck in the Brexit Departure Lounge (Publication Centre)

Sterling strengthened last week to its highest tradeweighted level since mid-May, amid hopes that the U.K. government will concede more ground to ensure that the European Council deems, at its December 14 meeting, that "sufficient progress" has been made in Brexit talks for trade discussions to begin

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.

25 Feb. 2016 Is Brexit as Likely as the Markets Seem to Think? (Publication Centre)

Sterling weakened further yesterday in response to the perception that the odds of the U.K. leaving the E.U. in the June referendum are rising. Cable fell to $1.39, its lowest level since March 2009. It is now $0.12 below the level one would anticipate from markets' expectations for short rates, as our chart of the week on page three shows.

22 February 2017 Q4 GDP Likely to be Revised up, but Momentum won't Endure (Publication Centre)

We expect the official estimate of quarter-on-quarter GDP growth in Q4 to be revised up to 0.7% today, from last month's preliminary estimate of 0.6%. The consensus forecast is for no revision, so the data likely will boost interest rate expectations and sterling, if we're right.

2 November. 2016 Producer Price Rises Will Bear Down on Domestic Demand (Publication Centre)

October's Markit/CIPS manufacturing survey indicates that producers are not shying away from passing on to their customers the higher costs stemming from sterling's depreciation.

21 Dec. 2015 How Vulnerable is the U.K. to a Current Account Crisis? (Publication Centre)

The latest balance of payments figures, released Wednesday, look set to show that the current account deficit widened in Q3, underlying the U.K.'s vulnerability to a sudden change in overseas investor sentiment. The risk of a full-blown sterling crisis, however, is lower than the enormous current account deficit would appear to suggest.

Sunday Times - Pound's fall 'the worst devaluation in history' (Media Centre)

Chief U.K. Economist Samuel Tombs discussing the devaluation of the GBP

Independent - UK pay growth data disappoints again as real wages decline at fastest rate in three years (Media Centre)

Chief U.K. Economist Samuel Tombs on U.K. Labour Market data for May

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