Another decade of ultra-loose monetary policy

The swift and significant response of the Bank of England to the coronavirus crisis has prevented a financial crisis, but we think the Bank will need to do much more than the markets currently expect to get the economy back on track. By this time next year, we suspect that the Bank will have announced an extra £350bn of quantitative easing, which would take the stock of QE to almost £1,000bn. We think it will be five years before the Bank raises interest rates above 0.10% and at least ten years before it even thinks about unwinding QE.
Paul Dales Chief UK Economist
Continue reading

More from UK

UK Economics Chart Book

Omicron may weaken activity but lift price pressures

While the emergence of the Omicron COVID-19 variant has increased the downside risks to our GDP forecasts, it has arguably increased the upside risks to our CPI inflation forecasts. The transmissibility, severity and capacity for Omicron to escape vaccines are still unknown. But if Omicron leads the government to close non-essential retail, hospitality venues and schools, we think GDP would fall by something like 3%. As has been in the case in previous lockdowns, that would boost demand for goods relative to demand for services, which may keep goods inflation higher for longer. And as long as the Chancellor revived the furlough scheme, any easing in wage pressures may only be temporary. That suggests the Bank of England will still raise interest rates from 0.10%, although it has become even more uncertain whether lift-off will happen at the policy meeting on 16th December or early next year.

7 December 2021

UK Economics Weekly

Christmas parties, Omicron inflation risks, MPC’s dilemma

Some tentative evidence may already be emerging that the Omicron COVID-19 variant may have softened economic activity. It’s less clear what it means for inflation and there’s a risk that it exacerbates current price pressures. That’s why we think the Bank of England’s interest rate decision on 16th December will be a closer call than markets seem to believe. They are pricing in just a 20-30% chance of a hike from 0.10% to 0.25%.

3 December 2021

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

More from Paul Dales

UK Economics Update

Four-week delay to Freedom Day not a big blow to the economy

A four-week delay to the easing of the final domestic COVID-19 restrictions beyond 21st June is unlikely to prevent the economy from climbing back to its pre-pandemic size by the autumn. And although there is a clear risk that “Freedom Day” will be delayed again, as long as any further delays can be measured in weeks rather than months COVID-19 probably won’t leave a big scar on the size of the economy.

14 June 2021

UK Economics Chart Book

Inflation risks rising

The risks to our forecast that CPI inflation will rise from 1.5% in April to a peak of 2.6% in November before dropping back in 2022 are increasingly on the upside. Rises in shipping costs and global agricultural commodity prices as well as shortages of semiconductors and labour could all conspire to push CPI inflation higher this year and keep it above 2% next year. At the moment, though, we think that the lingering effects of last year’s collapse in output will prompt many firms to absorb the bulk of higher costs in their margins and to limit pay rather than pass them on to consumers via much higher prices. This “spare capacity” effect explains why we think core inflation will stay below 2% until late in 2023.

10 June 2021

UK Markets Outlook

Markets mistaken on when and how BoE will tighten

Our forecasts that the Bank of England won’t tighten monetary policy until much later than the markets expect and that when it does it will unwind some QE first (perhaps in 2024) before raising interest rates (perhaps in 2025) is consistent with the gilt yield curve steepening over the next couple of years. So while 2-year gilt yields will probably remain very low for a couple more years yet, 10-year yields may rise from 0.86% now to around 1.50% by the end of 2022. We suspect that the resulting drag on the future value of UK corporate earnings will be more than offset by the boost to earnings from a faster and fuller economic recovery than is widely expected. And given that the valuation of UK equities still appears attractive, there is scope for UK equities to rise more rapidly than equities in other major markets. Our forecast is that the FTSE 100 climbs from 7,000 now to around 8,250 by the end of 2022.

24 May 2021
↑ Back to top