Pantheon Macroeconomics

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U.K. Publications

Below is a list of our U.K. Publications for the last 6 months. If you are looking for reports older than 6 months please email info@pantheonmacro.com, or contact your account rep

Please use the filters on the right to search for a specific date or topic.

economy

3 Dec 2021 If Omicron Were Vaccine-Resistant, What Would the MPC do Next?

  • The MPC would ease monetary policy again in the unlikely event that another lockdown is imposed.
  • Fiscal policy would be less supportive than in previous lockdowns; new curbs would dampen inflation.
  • Negative rates are in the toolkit and are preferred to more QE; Bank Rate likely would be cut to -0.25%.

Samuel Tombs (UK Economist)U.K.

2 Dec 2021 Could the Economy Cope Next Year with the Rate Hike Markets Expect?

  • Markets expect the MPC to hike Bank Rate by nearly 100bp next year, the most in one year since 2007.
  • Rising mortgage rates likely would subtract just 0.1pp from households' disposable incomes next year...
  • ...But house prices would flatline, so 100bp is on the limit of feasibility; Omicron brings downside risks.

Samuel Tombs (UK Economist)U.K.

1 Dec 2021 Near-Real-Time Data Already Show a Small Hit to Activity from Omicron

  • The recent measures implemented by the government will have limited direct impact on the economy...
  • ...But near-real-time data already show consumers are pulling back a bit in response to the new variant.
  • A "lockdown lite" set of restrictions could subtract 1.5% from Q1 GDP; expect a 6% hit with a full lockdown.

Samuel Tombs and Gabriella DickensU.K.

30 Nov 2021 Does October's Low Saving Signal Households' Mindset has Changed?

  • Households last month saved the least and borrowed the most for consumption since the pandemic began...
  • ...People are maintaining their spending while real incomes are falling; they aren't bingeing.
  • Firms continued to repay external finance in October, but this isn't necessarily a bad sign for investment.

Samuel Tombs (UK Economist)U.K.

24 Nov 2021 Is Mr. Sunak's Fund for Future Tax Cuts Already Under Threat?

  • Rising interest payments are slowing the rate that public borrowing is falling.
  • Fiscal headroom probably will be just half that assumed in the October Budget…
  • …But Mr. Sunak still will have a free hand in signing off pre-election tax cuts in 2023.

Samuel Tombs (UK Economist)U.K.

23 Nov 2021 MPC Members are Keeping their Options Open, No Matter the Data

  • MPC members Bailey and Pill are sitting on the fence, despite last week's upside data surprises.
  • In a weekend paper interview, the Governor highlighted the public sector's role in driving the recovery.
  • We put the odds of a December rate hike at 60%, well below the 80-to-90% range priced by markets.

Samuel Tombs (UK Economist)U.K.

22 Nov 2021 Q4 Retail Sales won't be Stellar, Despite October's Good Start

  • October's rise in retail sales volumes was driven solely by people buying Christmas presents earlier than usual.
  • Consumers' confidence recovered in November, but still is below-average, and will drift down over the winter.
  • A large minority of people remain fearful of Covid; rising cases likely will instil greater caution over the winter.

Samuel Tombs (UK Economist)U.K.

16 Nov 2021 Exports are Still in the Doldrums; Brexit Clearly is to Blame

  • U.K. exports in Q3 were 14% below their 2018 average, a larger shortfall than in any other G7 economy.
  • It's not just services exports; U.K. goods exports are well below their pre-Covid level; Brexit is to blame.
  • Several potential further headwinds loom, including the risk of further trade barriers from the EU.

Gabriella DickensU.K.

12 Nov 2021 Weak GDP Growth in Q3 Leaves the U.K. as the G7's Straggler Again

  • U.K. GDP was 2.1% below its Q4 2019 level in Q3, exceeding the shortfalls seen in other G7 counties.
  • Households have continued to spend more cautiously than those abroad; high virus levels are partly to blame.
  • Brexit also has contributed to the continued underper- formance; exports were 17% below their 2019 average.

Samuel Tombs (UK Economist)U.K.

10 Nov 2021 Political Risks Likely will Re-Emerge as a Drag on Sterling Next Year

  • The Conservatives' poll lead has virtually disappeared; we doubt it will re-emerge next year.
  • Higher inflation and rising interest rates will keep consumers' confidence weak.
  • A hung parliament would bring to the fore Brexit and Scottish independence risks again, weakening sterling.

Samuel Tombs (UK Economist)U.K.

5 Nov 2021 Markets Jolted Back to Reality by a Cautious MPC

  • On balance, we still think the MPC won't act next month; Mr. Bailey hinted October's labour data may not suffice.
  • The MPC's inflation forecasts seemingly support markets' view that rates will rise to 1.0% by the end of 2022...
  • ...But they are based on implausible energy price figures; its spare capacity forecasts point to a lower rate path.

Samuel Tombs (UK Economist)U.K.

29 Oct 2021 Higher Government Spending to Force the MPC's Hand, but Not Yet

  • The MPC's view the output gap has closed means it must counter plans for higher government spending.
  • But the Committee can wait until 2022 to act; the recovery is faltering, and underlying inflation is not high.
  • The MPC will see key jobs data if it waits until December; higher rates are coming, but not just yet.

Samuel Tombs (UK Economist)U.K.

28 Oct 2021 A Budget with an Eye on the Next Election, not Near-Term Popularity

  • The Chancellor spent only about half of the windfall stemming from the OBR's rosier economic forecasts...
  • ...In order to build scope to cut taxes before the next election, while still meeting his new fiscal targets.
  • The OBR's new GDP forecasts are too upbeat, while its debt interest forecast is too low, but this won't matter.

Samuel Tombs and Gabriella DickensU.K.

20 Oct 2021 Backdrop of Rising Borrowing Costs Will Force Mr. Sunak to be Cautious

  • The OBR likely will revise smaller its "scarring" estimate only to 2.5% of GDP, from 3.0% previously.
  • The resulting uplift to future tax revenues will be offset by higher projections for interest payments.
  • Mr. Sunak will have little, if any, headroom in meeting his target for a balanced current budget in three years' time.

Samuel Tombs (UK Economist)U.K.

19 Oct 2021 Here's What Governor Bailey Actually Said

  • Are you sure Governor Bailey said something new on Sunday? Governor Bailey thought not.
  • The statement "we will have to act" was qualified; medium-term inflation expectations need to be worrying.
  • Confidence has fallen in response to rising inflation expectations;  workers don't expect wages to keep pace.

Samuel Tombs (UK Economist)U.K.

13 Oct 2021 Solid Q3 Labour Data Won't Suffice for the MPC to Pull the Trigger

  • The labour market continued to tighten in Q3, but employment and hours still were below their potential.
  • Labour supply likely has increased much more than labour demand in Q4, now that the CJRS has ended.
  • Unit wage costs were kept in check by a productivity rebound; rising labour supply will cool wage growth in Q4.

Samuel Tombs (UK Economist)U.K.

12 Oct 2021 How Much Weight will the MPC Place on Inflation Expectations?

  • Markets see a 50% chance of the MPC hiking Bank Rate next month; December viewed as a done deal.
  • November still seems too early; the MPC saw "a high option value" in waiting for post-furlough jobs data.
  • Inflation expectations exceed the rate implied by current inflation, but this residual isn't a reliable wage signal.

Samuel Tombs (UK Economist)U.K.

7 Oct 2021 Could the Economy Withstand the Rate Hikes Markets Expect?

  • Markets expect interest rates to rise more in the next 15 months than in any other period since 2007.
  • Firms are well placed to cope, and the effective interest rate on all mortgage debt would rise only slowly...
  • ...But higher new mortgage rates would hit spending via lower house prices or higher mortgage payments.

Samuel Tombs (UK Economist)U.K.

6 Oct 2021 Net Trade will Return to Depressing GDP Growth Next Year

  • Revisions to Q2 GDP data brightened the picture of the economy's recent trade performance...
  • ...But Brexit still is preventing U.K. exporters from benefiting fully from the upswing in global trade.
  • The return of the structural deficit in services trade will cause net trade to weigh on GDP growth in 2022.

Samuel Tombs (UK Economist)U.K.

28 Sept 2021 Look to the Services Sector for the Adverse Impact of Fuel Shortages

  • Panic-buying of fuel likely will fade soon; no sign yet of shortage fears spreading to food or other goods...
  • ...But for a period, people likely will reduce trips to purchase non-essential goods and services.
  • The silver lining, however, has been a softening of the government's visa policies; probably more to come.

Samuel Tombs (UK Economist)U.K.

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