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The OBR’s March forecasts suggest tax cuts equal to 1.0% of GDP are permissible under the fiscal rules.
But since then, the Treasury’s borrowing costs have risen, reducing scope for tax cuts to 0.7% of GDP.
The Tories will be reluctant to ditch the rules, as this would inhibit their ability to criticise Labour’s plans.
Public borrowing in April was in line with the OBR’s forecast, but expect upside surprises later this year.
Mr. Sunak likely will not opt to reduce the main rate of VAT; firms would benefit more than households.
Bringing forward April 2023’s large CPI-linked increase in benefits to October would make the most sense.
CPI inflation likely soared to 9.2% in April, from 7.0% in March, largely due to the jump in the energy price cap.
BRC data are consistent with another large rise in core goods prices, while services prices likely shot up too...
...In response to the hospitality VAT hike, big increases in phone contract prices, and an Easter boost to airfares.
Local election results imply the Tories are not on track to win in 2024, unless they turn the economy around.
Currently planned measures to support households in July and October are too small to move the dial.
Bringing forward April 2023's inflation-linked rise in benefits to October would be simple and well-targeted.
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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