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

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4 Jan 2022 Forecast Review: Q1 GDP to be no Higher than in Q4, due to Omicron

  • Consumer caution in response to Omicron points to a near-1% fall in GDP between November and January.
  • Surging energy prices have forced us to revise up our forecast for this year's peak rate of CPI inflation to 6.0%.
  • The MPC, however, likely will wait until March to hike rates again, given the large hit to activity from Omicron

Samuel Tombs (UK Economist)U.K.

20 Dec 2021 A 1% Hit to GDP From Omicron is the Best Case Scenario

  • Omicron cases have leapt, but little still is known about the hospitalisation rate; new curbs aren't inevitable.
  • Even with no new restrictions and low Omicron severity, GDP likely will be 1% lower in January than in November.
  • Expect a 2% hit to GDP from a return to "Step Two" rules, and a 6% hit if a full lockdown is imposed.

Samuel Tombs (UK Economist)U.K.

17 Dec 2021 The MPC will Give the Economy Breathing Space Before Hiking Again

Markets now expect the MPC to hike Bank Rate to 0.50% in February, following today's surprise hike.

Most members, however, thought the decision was "finely balanced" and see a "modest" tightening ahead.

Omicron won't just have short-term effects if the MPC hikes again and pushes firms over the edge.

Samuel Tombs and Gabriella DickensU.K.

10 Dec 2021 Omicron Damage Likely to Delay the First MPC Rate Hike Until March

  • The MPC likely will hold back from raising Bank Rate next week, despite several upside data surprises.
  • We are cutting our forecast for quarter-on-quarter GDP growth in Q1 to 0.3%, from 0.8%, due to Omicron.
  • The Covid situation won't be better in early February; the March meeting is a better bet for the first rate hike.

Samuel Tombs (UK Economist)U.K.

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.

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.

18 Nov 2021 October's CPI Data Tip the Scales Towards a December Rate Hike

  • 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.

Samuel Tombs (UK Economist)U.K.

17 Nov 2021 Relief on Unemployment, but Still No Clarity on Wider Labour Market Slack

  • 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.

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.

27 Oct 2021 Inflation Expectations Data Leave Room for the MPC to Prevaricate

  • Households' medium-term inflation expectations fell by 0.1pp to 3.7% in October, according to YouGov/Citi.
  • Nearly all the rise in expectations can be explained by current inflation rates; no sign of de-anchoring.
  • Manufacturing output isn't that sensitive to energy prices; we continue to expect modest growth in Q4.

Samuel Tombs and Gabriella DickensU.K.

26 Oct 2021 How Quickly will the MPC Shrink the APF Over the Coming Years?

  • The MPC will stop reinvestments in Q1 and start selling gilts in Q4 2022, if markets are right about rates.
  • The impact of asset sales is unknown and the MPC wants them to be on auto pilot, so they will be cautious.
  • Gilt sales of £10B per quarter would balance creating future stimulus space with keeping markets steady.

Samuel Tombs (UK Economist)U.K.

21 Oct 2021 Plenty of Ammo for the MPC's Doves in September's CPI Report

  • The MPC's preferred measure of underlying services inflation merely matched its 2010s average in September.
  • CPI inflation is on course to rise to a peak of about 4.8% in April, from 3.1% in September...
  • ...But the rise will be driven largely by higher energy prices; core inflation should remain well-behaved.

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.

18 Oct 2021 September's CPI Data will be the Calm Before the Storm

  • CPI inflation likely was unchanged in September from August's 3.2% rate.
  • Used car prices have surged again, while surveys point to retailers increasing prices faster than usual...
  • ...But motor fuel prices rose only slightly, and accom- modation and food services inflation likely fell back.

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.

4 Oct 2021 Forecast Review: One Rate Hike in 2022 Now Looks Likely

  • We have lowered our forecast for Q4 GDP, due to the impaired supply of fuel and industrial inputs.
  • Surging energy prices have forced us to hike our forecast for CPI inflation in 2022 to 3.4%, from 2.5%.
  • We now expect the Committee to hike Bank Rate in Q2 2022, but we don't buy investors' hawkish view.

Samuel Tombs (UK Economist)U.K.

20 Sept 2021 Don't Expect a Hawkish Pivot from the MPC This Week

Markets now expect the MPC to raise Bank Rate twice next year, with the first hike as soon as February.

The MPC, however, will focus on labour market slack and the prospects for its elimination, not just inflation.

The recovery has faded, implying many furloughed staff will be underemployed in Q4; the MPC needn't rush.

Samuel Tombs (UK Economist)U.K.

16 Sept 2021 Higher CPI Inflation Still Due to Only a Few Components

  • The month-to-month rise in the core CPI in August was only 0.1pp bigger than the average in the 2010s.
  • Used cars and computer games drove the large monthly gain; no sign of broad-based price increases.
  • Higher energy prices will push up the headline rate to 4% in Q4 and Q1, but the MPC needn't blink.

Samuel Tombs (UK Economist)U.K.

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