GDP & International Trade (Aug.)

The 0.4% m/m rise in GDP in August confirms that the rapid gains in output, which in just 16 months lifted GDP from being 25.1% below its February 2020 pre-pandemic peak to 0.8% below, are now behind us. And shortages, including the petrol/energy crisis, may prevent GDP from rising much in the coming months. This weaker activity outlook may prevent the Bank of England from hiking interest rates this year.
Paul Dales Chief UK Economist
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UK Economics Update

Labour shortages to push up wages for a bit longer

The latest data suggest that the upward pressure on wage growth from labour shortages has a bit further to run. Admittedly, the discovery of the Omicron variant has clouded the near-term outlook for wages and the labour market, with higher virus infections and/or tighter restrictions once again a possibility. Nonetheless, our base case is that most of the upward pressure on wage growth will subside from mid-2022, underpinning our view that Bank Rate won’t need to rise as far as investors currently expect.

30 November 2021

UK Economics Update

Omicron – The risks to GDP and for the BoE

The restrictions announced by the government on Saturday in response to the new Omicron COVID-19 variant increase the downside risks to our GDP forecasts and the chances that the Bank of England delays increasing interest rates until next year. And although the worse-case scenario of another lockdown in January could reduce GDP by something in the region of 3.0% m/m, the one morsel of comfort is that the economy has become more resilient to lockdowns.

29 November 2021

UK Data Response

Money & Credit (Oct.)

The rise in consumer credit in October adds to evidence that economic activity fared well at the start of Q4. But that no longer offers much comfort in light of the discovery of the new Omicron variant. While much remains uncertain, the risks to our (already subdued) GDP forecast appear to the downside.

29 November 2021

More from Paul Dales

UK Data Response

Money & Credit (Aug.)

The tepid increase in consumer credit in August provides more evidence that the economy didn’t regain much momentum after stagnating in July. And with the current fuel crisis restraining activity (outside of spending on fuel), there’s a risk that at some point the economy will take a step backwards.

29 September 2021

UK Data Response

Retail Sales (Aug.)

The fourth consecutive fall in retail sales in August isn’t as bad as it looks as some of it reflects households spending more on non-retail items as life returns closer to normal. But as non-retail spending isn’t soaring, the economy probably didn’t regain much momentum after stagnating in July.

17 September 2021

UK Economics Update

The rise in consumer prices is not widespread

A deeper dive into the CPI figures supports our initial analysis that the bulk of the jump in inflation from 2.0% in July to 3.2% in August is due to base effects linked to falling consumer prices in August last year rather than a widespread and significant surge in prices this August.

15 September 2021
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