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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rate hike

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.

2 Dec 2021 Could the Economy Cope Next Year with the Rate Hike Markets Expect?

  • 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.

Samuel Tombs (UK Economist)U.K.

30 Nov 2021 Does October's Low Saving Signal Households' Mindset has Changed?

  • 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.

Samuel Tombs (UK Economist)U.K.

29 Nov 2021 Forecast Review: MPC Caught Between Higher Inflation and Omicron

  • 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.

Samuel Tombs (UK Economist)U.K.

24 Nov 2021 Is Mr. Sunak's Fund for Future Tax Cuts Already Under Threat?

  • 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.

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.

15 Nov 2021 October's CPI Inflation Print Likely Will Exceeded the Consensus

  • 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.

Samuel Tombs (UK Economist)U.K.

11 Nov 2021 October Payroll Employee Data to Help Gauge Furlough Scheme Fallout

  • 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.

Gabriella DickensU.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.

9 Nov 2021 Is it Already Clear the End of the Furlough Scheme has been Painless?

  • 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.

Samuel Tombs (UK Economist)U.K.

8 Nov 2021 September GDP will Give the MPC Further Pause for Thought

  • 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.

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.

4 Nov 2021 Look to the Housing Market, not Interest Payments, for Rate Hike Pain

  • 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.

Samuel Tombs (UK Economist)U.K.

2 Nov 2021 Households won't Abandon their Cautious Mindset Anytime Soon

  • 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.

Samuel Tombs (UK Economist)U.K.

1 Nov 2021 Forecast Review: Rate Hikes Loom Closer, But Not This Week

  • 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.

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.

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