Inflation expectations & pay growth key to policy tightening
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Inflation expectations & pay growth key to policy tightening

A bumper rise in utilities prices in October could contribute to CPI inflation climbing to a 10-year high of 4.4% in November. But as we don’t expect higher CPI inflation to feed through into higher inflation expectations or faster underlying pay growth, we doubt the Bank of England will respond by tightening monetary policy until things change in 2023.  
Paul Dales Chief UK Economist
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UK Data Response

GDP (Jun. & Q2)

The 0.6% m/m drop in GDP in June was mostly due to the adverse effect of the extra Jubilee bank holiday. Even so, the GDP figures confirmed that the economy contracted by 0.1% q/q in Q2 as a whole and we have not altered our view that a recession is on the way later this year.

12 August 2022

UK Economics Update

What will this recession look like?

We expect a recession in 2022/23 to be driven by high inflation, with a contraction in real consumer spending at its epicentre. But with household and corporate balance sheets still relatively healthy, we suspect the recession will be mild by historical standards.

11 August 2022

UK Economics Chart Book

Increased risk of “second-round” effects

We’ve been warning for some time that CPI inflation would rise further than most people expect, triggering a recession. The prospect of even bigger rises in utility prices on 1st October and in the first half of 2023 than we have pencilled in suggests that the risks to our forecast for CPI inflation to rise from June’s 40-year high of 9.4% to 12.5% in October are now skewed to the upside. That increases the risk of bigger, longer-lasting second-round inflation effects. Admittedly, there have been some encouraging signs that price pressures towards the start of the inflation pipeline have passed their peak. But it is worrying that domestic inflationary pressures, such as those in the services sector, are still rising, as they tend to last longer. As a result, we still think that the Bank of England will raise interest rates from 1.75% to 3.00% even when the economy is in recession.

10 August 2022

More from Paul Dales

UK Data Response

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.

23 July 2021

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
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