Pantheon Macroeconomics

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Samuel Tombs

Samuel Tombs

Samuel Tombs has written actionable macroeconomic research for investors for over 15 years and was Pantheon’s Chief UK Economist between September 2015 and February 2024. He is now shifting his focus to the US. During his time as Chief UK Economist, Samuel developed an unrivalled track record for forecast accuracy. Between 2017 and 2023, he was the most accurate UK forecaster among all those polled by Reuters. When he stepped aside as Chief UK Economist, he was Bloomberg’s highest ranked forecaster of UK consumer prices and average weekly earnings, the two most market-sensitive indicators in recent years. Samuel also topped the annual ranking of forecasters for the UK economy compiled by the Sunday Times in 2014 and 2018, and came joint-top in 2019.

Samuel combines a forensic approach to data analysis with deep knowledge about how the figures are constructed. He is adept at quickly drawing out the implications of data releases and news for the outlook for monetary policy. He is widely quoted in the financial press and has been consulted by UK lawmakers (the House of Commons’ Treasury Committee) for his views on macroeconomic policy.

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, he was Senior UK 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.

Recent key calls include:

2023 – Correctly argued against the consensus view in markets between June and August 2023 that the MPC would increase Bank Rate to a peak of 6.0%. Produced the most accurate forecasts for UK CPI inflation and average weekly wages among all economists submitting forecasts to Bloomberg.

2022 – Predicted as early as February that real household disposable income would drop by 2.0% year-over-year in 2022 (latest official estimate -1.9%), the biggest calendar year fall since the Second World War, but that a recession would be narrowly avoided.

2021 - Forecast the MPC would not reduce Bank Rate from 0.10% in the first half of 2021, despite markets seeing this as highly likely in the early months of the year. Then correctly predicted that the MPC would not hike Bank Rate to 0.25% in November, despite investors attaching a 94% probability to this outcome on the day of the Committee's meeting.

2020 – Forewarned that the UK government was loosening Covid-19 restrictions too much and that further lockdowns would be needed.

2019 – Forecast correctly that the MPC would not cut Bank Rate from 0.75% in 2019 or in January 2020, even though by investors at times attached a 70% probability to this outcome.  Consistently argued that the U.K. government would not opt for a no-deal Brexit.

2018 – Predicted rightly that GDP growth would slow and CPI inflation would undershoot the MPC’s expectations, prompting the Committee to shock investors 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. Highlighted that economic indicators pointed to the Conservatives losing their outright majority in the snap general election, against the consensus.

Recent publications by Samuel Tombs

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Keywords for: Samuel Tombs

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