Consumer Prices (Sep.)

The dip in CPI inflation in September feels a bit like the lull before the storm as we expect inflation to jump to close to 4.0% in October and to between 4.5% and 5.0% by April next year. As such, the fall in September probably won’t deter the Bank of England from raising interest rates from 0.10% in the coming months, although we think the markets have gone too far by pricing in rates rising to 1.00% next year.
Paul Dales Chief UK Economist
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UK Economics Weekly

Economy less favourable for whoever’s in Number 10

Although it is hard to predict whether by the end of next week Boris Johnson’s reign as Prime Minister will be solidifying or crumbling, we know that whoever is in Number 10 over the next year will have to deal with the cost of living crisis. Our forecast that inflation will rise to a little above 7% explains why we think GDP growth this year will fall short of the consensus forecast and why we think interest rates will be raised further than most expect, from 0.25% now to 1.25% by the end of the year. Drop-In (14:00 GMT, 26th Jan): UK Outlook -- More inflation, more interest rate hikes. Join our UK Economics team for a briefing on the 2022 outlook, including why we’re below consensus on growth but think the BoE will raise rates more than most expect. Register here.

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UK Data Response

Retail Sales (Dec.)

The fall in retail sales volumes in December was bigger than expected and supports our view that the Omicron outbreak in the run-up to Christmas may have dragged down GDP by 0.5% m/m, if not more.

21 January 2022

UK Economics Update

Real wage squeeze unlikely to be a rerun of 2008-14

The looming squeeze on real wages means that the near-term outlook for consumption and GDP has weakened. That said, we don’t expect anything as bad as the squeeze in 2008-14. In fact, real household disposable income may well recover by early 2023.

20 January 2022

More from Paul Dales

UK Data Response

Labour Market (Aug./Sep.)

The further strengthening of the labour market in August may prompt some members of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) to put more weight on the upside risks to inflation rather than the downside risks to economic growth. As such, these data increase the chances of a rate hike in the coming months.

12 October 2021

UK Economics Weekly

Why we changed our mind on the BoE

There were two key reasons behind our decision to forecast that the Bank of England will first raise interest rates in 2022 rather than in 2023. First, there is more evidence that the rise in inflation is feeding into faster underlying wage growth and higher inflation expectations. Second, the Bank’s reaction function appears to have changed as it seems less willing to look through a temporary rise in inflation. That said, we still think that the Bank will raise interest rates a little later than the February 2022 date priced into the market and to a lower level by the end of 2024 than investors expect.

24 September 2021

UK Markets Chart Book

Worrying more about higher inflation

The recent rises in 2-year and 10-year gilt yields to their highest levels since the “dash for cash” at the start of the pandemic have entirely been driven by the investors revising up their expectations for inflation. Indeed, 10-year break-even inflation rates are now at their highest level since the Global Financial Crisis (GFC). Our forecast that RPI inflation will shoot up from 3.8% in August to just over 6.0% by the end of the year suggests that break-even inflation rates may yet rise further. But they should then drop back next year as the bulk of the rise in RPI inflation is reversed. What’s more, our view that the Bank of England will put more weight on the recent weakening in activity than the rise in inflation and won’t raise Bank Rate until 2023 suggests that a big surge in nominal gilt yields is not around the corner.

21 September 2021
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