Retail Sales (Apr.)

The surge in retail sales volumes in April shows that households flooded back to the shops once they reopened in the middle of the month and suggests there is even some upside risk to our forecast that the economic recovery will be fast and full if households spend a big chunk of their lockdown savings.
Paul Dales Chief UK Economist
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UK Economics Weekly

At risk of stalling, but Q3 may make up for Q2’s weakness

This week brought further signs that the “pingdemic” weighed on economic activity and evidence that in June, consumers amassed excess savings at a faster rate than in May. As a result, there’s clearly a risk Q2 GDP growth will be weaker than we previously thought. However, with the “pingdemic” likely to ease over the next month, COVID-19 case numbers falling and our CE Mobility Tracker and new electronic card payments ticking up, we are sticking with our forecast that GDP will return to its pre-virus peak in October. Even so, it’s clear that any further big gains in activity may have to wait until August.

30 July 2021

MPC Watch

Divisions emerge, but early end to BoE’s asset purchases unlikely

While the Bank of England will upgrade its near-term forecasts for inflation in its Monetary Policy Report (MPR) published on 5th August, it will probably still judge that the rise is transitory. And while Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) member Michael Saunders may break ranks to vote in favour of an early end to the Bank’s net asset purchases, we do not think others will join him in signalling that interest rate hikes are drawing closer.

29 July 2021

UK Data Response

Money & Credit (Jun.)

The money and credit data showed that consumers were willing to take on more debt in June. However, with consumers accumulating excess savings at a faster pace, there were signs that the resurgence in virus cases may have triggered some consumer caution, which could weigh on the recovery.

29 July 2021

More from Paul Dales

UK Economics Update

CPI inflation may peak around 4%

Bigger rises in commodity and component costs than we had expected mean that we now think CPI inflation will rise from 2.1% in May to a peak of about 4.0% around the turn of the year. But we still think this will be a short, sharp spike in inflation that won’t feed into persistently faster pay growth or higher inflation expectations for a couple of years yet. As such, we suspect the Monetary Policy Committee will look through it and won’t tighten policy as soon mid-2022 as the financial markets expect.

6 July 2021

UK Data Response

GDP (Q1 Final)

The small downward revision to Q1 GDP growth probably won’t stop the economy from rising back to its pre-pandemic peak in the coming months. And the larger-than-expected rebound in the household saving rate increases the potential for faster rises in GDP further ahead.

30 June 2021

UK Economics Update

Recovery evolving rather than stalling

The recent softening in some indicators of activity is probably mostly a result of shifts in spending patterns within the economy rather than a sign that the recovery has already stalled. As such, we still expect monthly GDP to rise back to its pre-pandemic level by the autumn.

29 June 2021
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