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- Omicron fears already have led people to travel and visit restaurants, shops and cinemas less often.
- Booster jabs are containing hospital admissions, but people still have good reasons to avoid being infected.
- While boosters and school holidays will weigh on cases, Omicron and Christmas festivities will keep R>1.
- 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%.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Recent activity data have surprised to the upside, but the Omicron variant casts a shadow over Q1.
- The near-term path for inflation looks much higher than a month ago, after October's above-consensus data.
- The MPC likely will hike Bank Rate in December, but markets' expected 2022 rate path looks far too steep.
The fast rollout of boosters has reduced U.K. hospital admissions, whereas they are surging across Europe.
Economic contagion for the U.K. in the event of fresh restrictions in the rest of Europe should be modest.
Manufacturing output would be unaffected, while the weaker euro will help to lower U.K. CPI inflation in 2022.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- The ONS' BIC survey suggests the recovery stalled in both October and November
- OpenTable figures show that the boom in dining out has faded in November.
- We expect quarter-over-quarter GDP growth to slow to 1.0% in Q4, from 1.5%, and below the consensus, 1.1%
- October's 4.2% rate of CPI inflation was well above the MPC's 3.9% forecast; such a large error margin is rare.
- The upside surprise came from the core, and will carry over to future months; April's peak looks set to top 5%.
- Mean-reversion in energy and goods prices, however, should ensure that CPI inflation dips below 2% in 2023.
- The 0.6% m/m rise in payroll employee numbers in October implies unemployment didn't rise post-furlough...
- ...But the drop in median pay in October suggests many furloughed staff have returned only part-time.
- Year-over-year growth in wages continued to slow in September; no sign of a wage-price spiral forming.
- 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.
- Energy prices likely were the key driver of higher CPI inflation in October, but the core rate probably rose too.
- Used car prices rocketed again, while data from the BRC point to a chunky rise in clothing prices.
- Hospitality firms probably raised prices in response to the VAT hike; the boost is uncertain but likely large.
- 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.
- Payroll employee numbers likely increased again in October, but not quite as strongly as in Q3.
- The data, however, will not gauge underemployment; October's LFS data, released in December, remain key.
- The recent drop in Covid-19 cases has largely been driven by school holidays; expect a renewed rise soon.
- 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.
- Nearly 4% of all staff still were furloughed in September, yet redundancies appear to have remained low.
- Involuntarily part-time working, however, likely became much more widespread in Q4.
- October's labour market data will be partial and might not offset concerns about the recovery's strength.
- We think GDP merely held steady in September, undershooting the consensus and the BoE's forecast.
- Data from other countries show that industrial pro- duction was impeded by component shortages.
- Car sales fell sharply in September, while the "stay- cationing" boost to the hospitality sector ended.