- August's drop in retail sales was broad-based; the recovery in overall spending now is sluggish.
- Real disposable income will drop by 1.5% q/q in Q4, as employment falls, inflation soars, and benefits are cut.
- RHDI will recover in Q1, but then flatline in Q2, in response to the rise in employees' NICs rates.
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.
- Year-over-year growth in house prices slowed in July, following the tapering of government support.
- Expect a further slowdown in Q4, when the SDLT threshold will return to £125K and real incomes will fall.
- The outlook for 2022, however, is brighter; falling mortgage rates and tight supply will support prices.
- 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.
- Payroll employee numbers returned in August to their pre-Covid peak, but will dip in Q4, after furlough ends.
- We expect the unemployment rate to rise to 5.0% in Q4, from 4.5% in Q3; slack within firms will build too.
- Three-month-on-three-month annualised growth in wages fell to 3.2% in July; slack will keep it in check.
- We think CPI inflation leapt to 3.1% in August, from 2.0% in July, above the 2.9% consensus.
- Core inflation likely jumped on the anniversary of the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme...
- ...But it also probably was boosted by abnormally large increases in used car and other goods prices.
- The number of workers on furlough decreased again in July, as government contributions were tapered...
- ...But usage remains high in sectors that already have fully recovered, and among financially-weak SMEs.
- We expect the unemployment rate to rise to 5.0% in Q4, from 4.5% in Q3; hidden slack will rise much more.
- The MPC's energy price assumptions for its inflation forecast are too high in the near-term, and for 2023.
- Wholesale electricity and natural gas price changes don't immediately impact the CPI...
- ...Future prices still imply that Ofgem will lower slightly the default tariff cap next year, not raise it further.
- Markets still expect the MPC to hike rates in Q2 2022, despite surprise plans to lift national insurance in April.
- The tax hike will defer a full recovery in households' spending to the second half of next year.
- The plans imply the Treasury does not expect the OBR to turn upbeat on the medium-term economic outlook.
- From now on, the U.K. Monitor on the first Monday of each month will summarise recent forecast changes.
- We now think GDP flatlined in July, so our Q3 fore- cast, 1.5% q/q, is well below the consensus, 2.4%.
- Our 3.7% forecast for the CPI inflation in Q4—probably the peak—is below the MPC's new 4.0% estimate.
- The pace of month-to-month increases in consumer prices slowed in July; the re-opening surge is over.
- CPI inflation still is set to rise sharply, but the peak will be a bit below the 4% rate expected by the MPC...
- ...The MPC's food and energy price assumptions are too high, while goods inflation will fall swiftly next year.
- Employee numbers have rebounded since the spring, but total employment is lagging behind.
- Vacancies are high, but are concentrated in different sectors to those which will see post-furlough layoffs.
- High inflation and 4-to-5% unemployment didn't lift wage growth in 2017, and probably won't this time.
The U.K. economy was the G7's straggler for a fifth consecutive quarter, despite the rebound in Q2.
GDP will barely rise in July; June's surges in output in the health and advertising sector will reverse...
...while data from OpenTable and the BRC point to a step down in consumers' spending last month.
Car demand surged in Q2, as easing Covid-19 restrictions boosted consumers' confidence.
But shortages of key components have limited the supply of new cars; used car sales have surged.
Used car sales look set to remain elevated this year, pushing up prices.
By the autumn, vaccination rates no longer will be higher in the U.K. than other advanced economies.
The chances of U.S. and U.K. rates rising in lockstep are remote; the U.S. recovery is far more advanced.
U.K. political risks are low now, but next year investors will start to weigh the risks from the 2024 election.
Covid-19 cases likely will pick up in September, as schools return and building ventilation declines.
Business closures in Q4 aren't likely, but households will remain cautious, delaying a full recovery.
In the event of a new variant and lockdown, we think the MPC would cut rates to -0.25%, despite 4% inflation.
The MPC's forecasts imply markets' expectations for future rate hikes are about right...
...But the risks to the MPC's economic forecasts now are skewed firmly to the downside.
We now expect the first rate hike in Q2 2023, slightly earlier than before, with QE wind-down coming later.
Now that negative rates are in the toolkit, the MPC might divulge its new estimate for the lower bound.
The MPC also might lower the threshold that Bank Rate must reach before it starts to wind down QE.
We expect Ofgem to announce on Friday that the default tariff cap will rise by a painful 13.5% in Q4.
The proportion of staff furloughed fell to 5.7% at the end of June, from 7.5% a month earlier...
...But surveys point to only a marginal fall in early July, and still high usage in fully recovered sectors.
Firms likely won't fully relinquish recent productivity gains; the employment rate will drop back in Q4.
The recovery in the manufacturing sector slowed in July, probably to a complete standstill.
Output should pick up in the autumn, amid easing supply constraints and robust restocking demand...
...But we see little chance of long-term reshoring; Brexit is another barrier to a sustained recovery.