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The trade deficit, excluding erratics, jumped to a recordhigh in March, largely due to the surge in energy prices.
High energy prices, surging imports of travel services and weak export growth will keep the deficit wide.
Governor Bailey is showing no signs of buckling to pressure from MPs for faster rate hikes to tame inflation.
At least two MPC members now think Bank Rate does not need to rise any further in the near term.
The MPC’s three-year ahead forecast for inflation, based on market rates, is its lowest for over 13 years.
Markets’ rate expectations fell yesterday, but they still look too high in light of the MPC's new projections.
The near-term outlook for households' real disposable income looks bleak; we still expect GDP to drop in Q2.
A recession, however, isn't our base case; people have ample scope to draw on savings and to borrow more.
We now Bank Rate to top out at 1.25% this year, not 1.00%, but still think markets have lost the plot.
Active QT likely will have a much smaller proportionate impact than QE, but the MPC still will be cautious.
The gilt market is less liquid than usual, and the MPC wants a steady programme that won't need tinkering.
We still think the BoE will wait until August to set out plans for sales of £10B per quarter, starting in Q4.
March's retail sales figures were a wake-up call for investors; households are struggling to tread water.
Consumers' confidence weakened further in April and now is only a touch above its all-time low.
We still expect a recession to be avoided, but the risk will weigh on the MPC's forthcoming decisions.
We look for two further 25bp increases in Bank Rate this year, not one, after March's jump in CPI inflation.
CPI inflation looks set to peak at about 9% in April and remain above 8% until the very end of this year.
But energy and core goods inflation will plunge next year; the MPC needn't be as active as markets expect.
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.
November's 5.1% CPI inflation rate was 0.6pp above the forecast made by the MPC only last month...
...But high inflation is due to surging energy and goods prices; underlying services inflation remains subdued.
We expect the headline rate to peak at 6.0% in April, but then to fall sharply, slipping below-target in 2023.
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