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- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- The effective mortgage rate will be just 20bp or so higher at the end of 2022, if markets' Bank Rate view is right.
- The interest rate on bank deposits would rise by more, so households' net interest payments would fall, initially.
- The housing market, however, looks like the weak link; we expect house prices to flatline in H1 2022.
- Budget announcements, including the jump in National Living Wage, will support earnings growth next year...
- ...but higher taxes and inflation suggest real take home pay will fall by 1.5%, the most since 2011.
- This is one key reason we expect the MPC will hike Bank Rate by less than markets currently expect.
- Households continued in September to save more and borrow less than they did before Covid.
- The recovery in spending will continue only if households save less in response to falling real incomes...
- Households did this in 2016, but are less confident now, despite having a larger precautionary buffer.
- The near-term outlook for GDP has worsened, but 2022 looks a little brighter in the wake of the Budget.
- Higher energy prices mean we have revised up our forecast for CPI inflation in 2022 to 3.6%, from 3.4%.
- We now expect two rate hikes, not one, in the next 12 months, but still anticipate no change this week.
- 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.
- 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.