Retail Sales (Jun.)

The underlying trend in retail sales volumes is a bit weaker than the 0.5% m/m rise in June suggests. And other evidence indicates that the resurgence in the virus and the “pingdemic” may have taken some oomph out of the overall economic recovery in July.
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 Markets Chart Book

Markets to regain their poise as recoveries continue

While the resurgence in COVID-19 cases that has recently weighted on UK equities, the pound and 10-year gilt yields is clearly a downside risk, our view that it won’t deal a big blow to the global or domestic economic recoveries suggests that UK equities, the pound and 10-year gilt yields will all continue their latest rebound. That said, we have revised down our financial market forecasts. We no longer expect the pound to significantly strengthen or UK equities to drastically outperform overseas equities. And because we think the Bank of England will tighten monetary policy later than the financial markets assume, we now expect 10-year gilt yields to rise from close to 0.60% now to only 0.75% by the end of this year, to 1.00% next year and to 1.25% in 2023 (down from 1.25%, 1.50% and 1.50% previously).

22 July 2021

UK Economic Outlook

Surge in inflation won’t be sustained

Our forecast that COVID-19 won’t significantly reduce potential supply means that the economy can run a bit hotter for longer without generating the persistent rise in inflation that would require monetary policy to be tightened. Admittedly, this won’t prevent the previous gains in commodity prices and component costs from triggering a rise in CPI inflation from 2.5% in June to around 4.0% by the end of the year. But it should mean that CPI inflation falls back below 2.0% in 2022 and the short-lived spike doesn’t lead to higher pay growth and inflation expectations. That’s why we think monetary policy won’t be tightened until the middle of 2023, which would be a year later than the markets expect.

20 July 2021

UK Data Response

Monthly GDP & International Trade (May)

The easing in the pace of the economic recovery in May suggests that GDP is now more likely to return to the February 2020 pre-pandemic peak in October rather than in August. The bigger point, though, is that the recovery so far has been faster than most imagined possible six or 12 months ago. And the economy may yet surprise most forecasters again by emerging from the pandemic without much scarring.

9 July 2021
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