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.

unemployment

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

20 Oct 2021 Backdrop of Rising Borrowing Costs Will Force Mr. Sunak to be Cautious

  • The OBR likely will revise smaller its "scarring" estimate only to 2.5% of GDP, from 3.0% previously.
  • The resulting uplift to future tax revenues will be offset by higher projections for interest payments.
  • Mr. Sunak will have little, if any, headroom in meeting his target for a balanced current budget in three years' time.

Samuel Tombs (UK Economist)U.K.

13 Oct 2021 Solid Q3 Labour Data Won't Suffice for the MPC to Pull the Trigger

  • The labour market continued to tighten in Q3, but employment and hours still were below their potential.
  • Labour supply likely has increased much more than labour demand in Q4, now that the CJRS has ended.
  • Unit wage costs were kept in check by a productivity rebound; rising labour supply will cool wage growth in Q4.

Samuel Tombs (UK Economist)U.K.

8 Oct 2021 Latest Furlough Data Point to a Big Easing of Labour Shortages in Q4

  • Furlough scheme usage fell only marginally in August; 4.6% of staff still were furloughed by month-end.
  • Furlough rates remain high at small businesses, who lack the financial muscle to bring all staff back.
  • We expect only a modest rise in the unemployment rate to 5% in Q4, but a big jump in underemployment.

Samuel Tombs (UK Economist)U.K.

29 Sept 2021 Will the Data to Support a Rate Hike be Available by December

  • The MPC won't hike Bank Rate until it has assessed the impact of the closure of the furlough scheme.
  • It will have October's Labour Force Survey data to hand at its meeting on December 16...
  • ...But that wouldn't allow time to prepare the public, as usual; February is the earliest practical lift-off date.

Samuel Tombs (UK Economist)U.K.

23 Sept 2021 Underlying Wage Growth will Slow, Easing the Pressure on the MPC

  • The ONS estimates that underlying year-over-year growth in wages was between 3.6% and 5.1% in July...
  • ...We expect an increase in labour market slack, post-furlough, to push this rate down to about 3.2%.
  • Employers will pass on higher NICs rates to staff, while public sector pay will rise only modestly next year.

Samuel Tombs (UK Economist)U.K.

20 Sept 2021 Don't Expect a Hawkish Pivot from the MPC This Week

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.

Samuel Tombs (UK Economist)U.K.

15 Sept 2021 Wages Likely Won't Match Inflation as Slack Builds Post-Furlough

  • 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.

Samuel Tombs (UK Economist)U.K.

10 Sept 2021 Hidden Slack will Rise More than the Unemployment Rate, Post-Furlough

  • 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.

Samuel Tombs (UK Economist)U.K.

1 Sept 2021 Households are Prioritising Debt Repayments Over Having Fun

  • Households' stock of excess savings rose in July to 8.3% of 2020 GDP, after another cautious month.
  • The proportion of credit card debt repaid rose to a record high; ad hoc mortgage payments were high too.
  • Businesses aren't borrowing either, though capex still looks set to recover from rock-bottom levels in 2022.

Samuel Tombs (UK Economist)U.K.

25 Aug 2021 Don't Extrapolate the Recent Favourable Trend in Public Borrowing

  • The margin by which public borrowing undershoots the OBR's forecast will narrow over coming months...
  • ...Interest payments will soar, while GDP growth in Q3 and Q4 will fall short of the OBR's expectations.
  • The OBR's scarring judgement looks sound; productivity and participation have been lower than expected.

Samuel Tombs (UK Economist)U.K.

18 Aug 2021 Employment has Risen Briskly, but will Fall Back when Furlough Ends

  • 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.

Samuel Tombs (UK Economist)U.K.

4 Aug 2021 Furlough Usage isn't Falling Fast Enough to Signal a Painless End 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.

Samuel Tombs (UK Economist)U.K.

2 Aug 2021 Rising Covid-19 Cases Temporarily Slowed the Recovery in July

The ONS' Business Impact of Covid-19 survey suggests business turnover has flatlined since late May.

The disruption caused by the "pingdemic" wors- ened in late July, but likely is now starting to fade.

Unemployment still looks set to jump in Q4, despite another hefty drop in furlough scheme usage in June

Samuel Tombs (UK Economist)U.K.

22 July 2021 Tax Rises Still will be Needed for a 3% Budget Deficit

We continue to think that the government will need to press ahead with its planned fiscal tightening over the next two years, if it wants to ensure that borrowing drops to 3% of GDP in the mid-2020s.

Samuel Tombs (UK Economist)U.K.

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