Circuit breaker lockdown would reset the recovery

A “circuit-breaker” lockdown where most pubs and restaurants are closed across the country would throw the economic recovery into reverse and mean that, depending on the severity and length of the restrictions, it could be well into 2023 before GDP regains its pre-crisis level.
Thomas Pugh UK Economist
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UK Economics Weekly

Pay growth less inflationary than it looks, England v Scotland

The recent jump in pay growth has mainly been driven by base and compositional effects and is therefore less inflationary than it appears at first glance. That’s one reason why we think inflation will fall back below 2.0% next year and why the MPC won’t raise interest rates until 2025. Meanwhile, if economic variables are anything to go by, England may win tonight’s Euro 2020 clash with Scotland 2:1.

18 June 2021

UK Data Response

Retail Sales (May)

Rather than suggest the economic recovery is already spluttering, the decline in retail sales in May is probably just a result of the reopening of indoor hospitality in mid-May prompting households to spend less time shopping and more time socialising.

18 June 2021

MPC Watch

No tightening until 2024, and then by unwinding QE first

Even though the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) will probably acknowledge in the policy announcement on Thursday 24th June that activity and inflation have been stronger than it expected, we don’t think it will suggest it is any closer to tightening policy. While the markets expect that policy will be tightened in late 2022, we don’t think the MPC will get to that stage until 2024. And when it does, we suspect it will unwind some quantitative easing before raising interest rates in 2025.

17 June 2021

More from Thomas Pugh

UK Data Response

Money & Credit (Apr.)

April’s money and credit data suggests that consumers were still wary about taking on any additional debt. But even if consumers’ willingness to borrow remains limited, they have enough firepower to finance a spending spree through rising incomes and by saving a smaller share of their income.

2 June 2021

UK Economics Weekly

Troubles in construction unlikely to be repeated elsewhere

Output in the construction sector was already 2.3% above its pre-crisis level in March and there is evidence that supply constraints are starting to bite. However, there is still plenty of spare capacity in the economy as a whole and much of the increase in the prices of construction material is being driven by a global shortage. As such, we do not expect the situation in the construction industry to be repeated in other sectors when they reach their pre-crisis peaks.

28 May 2021

UK Data Response

Labour Market (Mar./Apr.)

Today’s data release suggests that the labour market is now on the front foot. Admittedly, the unemployment rate may still rise over the rest of this year. But this will probably be due to people re-joining the labour market rather than more people losing their jobs.

18 May 2021
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