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

Please use the filters on the right to search for a specific date or topic.

spending

27 June 2022 The Nadir in Retail Sales is Near, but Growth will be Lacklustre in H2

Retail sales volumes continued to decline in May in response to rapidly rising prices. 

Consumer confidence deteriorated further in June, but retail sales should start to recover slowly soon... 

Real disposable incomes will rise in Q3, thanks to Mr. Sunak’s grants; dis-saving and borrowing will help too. 

Samuel Tombs (UK Economist)U.K.

8 June 2022 Signs of a Slowdown will Restrain the MPC to a 25bp Hike Next Week

The fall in May’s composite PMI to a 15-month low is a clear sign that growth is faltering as real incomes drop.

Retail and car sales also have been weak; we expect a quarter-over-quarter drop in GDP in Q2 of about 0.5%.

May’s PMI makes it more likely the MPC will hike by just 25bp this month; markets' expectations are too high.

Gabriella DickensU.K.

6 June 2022 Forecast Review: Two More Bank Rate Hikes in 2022?

The additional fiscal support means we expect a smaller 1.5% fall in real incomes in 2022, compared to 2.5%.

We have revised up our forecast for GDP in Q3 and Q4 as a result; but a recession still cannot be ruled out.

We now expect Bank Rate to top out at 1.50% this year, but we still think markets' expectations are wild.

Samuel Tombs (UK Economist)U.K.

1 June 2022 Real Spending Looks Set to Drop as Households Continue to Save More

Households still were unwilling to use their excess savings in April, despite the sharp drop in real incomes.

With excess savings equal to £186B and consumer credit £23B below its peak, consumers still can spend.

But low confidence, the unequal distribution of savings and falling incomes suggests expenditure will dip in Q2.

Gabriella DickensU.K.

27 May 2022 The Chancellor's Extra Measures Meaningfully Reduce Recession Risk

The £15B support package is hefty, timely and targeted; it offsets most of October’s £24B energy bill rise.

The extra cash likely will lift GDP by 0.7% in the second half of this year; this matters for monetary policy.

Strikes will become more common over the coming months, but won’t tip the balance towards recession.

Samuel Tombs (UK Economist)U.K.

23 May 2022 Don't Infer Recession from the Record Low GfK Consumer Confidence Index

People are more likely to drain savings when they are glum due to inflation than when they fear redundancy.

April's recovery in retail sales suggests that households are prepared to defend their current real spending.

Recession risks likely will be further minimised by extra support from the government in the autumn.

Samuel Tombs (UK Economist)U.K.

9 May 2022 GDP Likely was Unchanged in March, Preluding a Contraction in Q2

The boost to activity from the removal of final Covid restrictions likely was offset by falling health sector output.

Higher energy prices and fresh supply chain frictions, following the war in Ukraine, likely hit manufacturing.

Retail sales and car sales fell, while the recovery in the hospitality sector appears to have topped out.

Samuel Tombs (UK Economist)U.K.

5 May 2022 Households are Showing Little Sign of Riding out the Real Income Shock

Households must save less—or borrow more—to the tune of £9B in Q2, in order for real spending not to fall. 

That is possible, given that "excess savings" are £186B and consumer credit is £25B below its peak.

But people didn't draw on savings in March and still are reluctant to borrow, so GDP looks set to dip in Q2.

Samuel Tombs (UK Economist)U.K.

26 Apr 2022 The PMI Turned Down in April, but is Still too Upbeat on Q2 GDP Growth

The composite PMI points to solid quarter-on-quarter GDP growth of 0.7% in Q2, despite falling in April.

The PMI, however, likely is too upbeat; it excludes government expenditure and retail sales, which are falling.

It might also be too strong when turnover is being lifted by price rises; we still expect GDP to drop in Q2.

Gabriella DickensU.K.

21 Apr 2022 Stockbuilding will Swing to Depressing GDP Growth Shortly

Firms want to hold more stocks than in the 2010s, but now are accumulating them at a slower pace.

GDP growth depends on the rate of change in inventories, so the deceleration will depress growth.

Futures prices historically have been a better guide to energy prices than assuming they don't change.

Samuel Tombs (UK Economist)U.K.

1 Apr 2022 Don't Mistake the Swift Recovery in GDP for Private Sector Strength

  • GDP has returned to its pre-recession level faster than after the four previous downturns...
  • ...But this strength reflects high government spending; "private-sector" GDP was nearly 3% below its peak.
  • Sub-par growth in households’ financial wealth adds to the list of reasons to expect little dis-saving ahead.

Samuel Tombs (UK Economist)U.K.

23 Mar 2022 Rising Interest Payments Explain Mr. Sunak's Expectations Management

  • Public borrowing in February exceeded the OBR's forecast by £5B; interest payments were partly to blame.
  • The OBR's forecast for interest payments in 2022/23 likely will rise by more than its forecast for tax receipts.
  • Mr. Sunak still can support households today, but he will prioritise retaining scope for pre-election tax cuts.

Samuel Tombs (UK Economist)U.K.

2 Mar 2022 Slow Money Growth Signals Low Medium-Term Risk of High Inflation

  • Money supply growth is weaker than before Covid, signalling macro policy isn't excessively loose.
  • Households have remained unwilling to draw on their "excess savings" to support consumption.
  • House purchase mortgage approvals in January were 11% above their 2015-to-19 average, but will dip soon.

Samuel Tombs (UK Economist)U.K.

1 Mar 2022 Business Investment Should Ensure GDP Remains on a Rising Path

  • We look for year-over-year growth in business investment to pick-up this year, reaching about 10% in Q4.
  • Brexit and Covid uncertainty has faded, profit margins are healthy, and firms have excess cash.
  • Higher oil prices will boost capex in the North Sea and in energy efficiency, but higher rates will hurt some firms.

Samuel Tombs (UK Economist)U.K.

23 Feb 2022 The OBR's New Borrowing Forecasts will Make the Chancellor Grimace

  • Rising debt interest payments explain why January's surplus was smaller than the OBR forecast.
  • We expect the OBR to revise up its forecast for public borrowing in 2022/23 to about £97B, from £83B.
  • Mr. Sunak still will meet his fiscal rules, but will preserve his remaining headroom until nearer the next election.

Samuel Tombs (UK Economist)U.K.

21 Feb 2022 The Recovery in Households' Spending is Starting to Flag

  • Retail sales in January were still 0.5% below their Q4 average, despite rising by nearly 2% from December.
  • Omicron weighed on sales at the start of the month, but the real income squeeze also is becoming a factor.
  • Households' real spending will rise further, as savings are drawn upon, but retailers don't stand to benefit.

Samuel Tombs (UK Economist)U.K.

15 Feb 2022 January CPI Inflation to Maintain the Pressure on the MPC

  • We think CPI inflation rose by 0.1pp to 5.5% in January, but annual weight changes increase the uncertainty.
  • Core goods prices surely leapt; data from the Eurozone and the U.K.'s BRC point to a very large increase.
  • A base effect likely depressed accommodation services inflation, but wider services inflation is trending up.

Samuel Tombs and Gabriella DickensU.K.

9 Feb 2022 Will Households Spend More this Year, Despite Falling Real Incomes?

  • Real household disposable income looks set to drop by nearly 2% this year, the most since 1977...
  • ...But consumers can draw on the savings they amassed during the pandemic and borrow more.
  • We expect the saving ratio to fall to 4.5% in 2022—1.5pp below its pre-Covid level—so that spending rises further.

Samuel Tombs (UK Economist)U.K.

2 Feb 2022 Money Supply Data Suggest the Economy Won't Overheat This Year

  • Growth in the broad money supply reverted to its pre-Covid rate in Q4, despite very low interest rates.
  • Households dipped into their excess savings in December to maintain their spending, not increase it.
  • Mortgage refinancing will cease to boost disposable incomes in 2022; the effective rate will stabilise.

Samuel Tombs (UK Economist)U.K.

26 Jan 2022 Surging Interest Costs Won't Stop Sunak Easing the Real Wage Squeeze

  • Public borrowing in 2021/22 looks set to come in at about £170B, £13B below the OBR's Budget forecast.
  • The hit from higher interest payments will exceed the windfall from higher-than-forecast GDP in 2022/23...
  • ...But Mr. Sunak built some wriggle room into his plans; he can intervene on energy prices and meet his targets.

Samuel Tombs and Gabriella DickensU.K.

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