No pushback against higher gilt yields, but little prospect of rate hikes

The Monetary Policy Committee did not follow in the ECB’s footsteps by stepping up the pace of its QE purchases. Instead, it echoed the message of the Fed by emphasising that rate hikes are still a long way away. This suggests that rates won’t rise next year as the markets expect. In fact, we think that rates could stay at +0.10% until 2026!
Ruth Gregory Senior UK Economist
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UK Economics Weekly

Weak activity news likely to stave off rate hike

On the back of the surge in inflation in August and the blistering increases in wholesale gas and electricity prices, investors and some economists have shifted their expectations of the first rate hike into Q1 2022. But a rate rise anytime soon would probably prove counterproductive. Meanwhile, we continue to think that inflation fears will ease in time, as supply shortages wane. However, the big risk is that inflation expectations keep rising and that the MPC judges in 2022 that they are too big to ignore, whatever is happening to the real economy.  

17 September 2021

UK Economics Update

Inflation to fall sharply in 2022 despite higher utility prices

Given the recent surge in wholesale gas and electricity prices to record highs, it looks likely that Ofgem will opt for another chunky hike to the price cap on households’ utility bills next April. While this will hit household real incomes, it doesn’t change our view that inflation is set to drop back sharply next year.

17 September 2021

UK Data Response

Retail Sales (Aug.)

The fourth consecutive fall in retail sales in August isn’t as bad as it looks as some of it reflects households spending more on non-retail items as life returns closer to normal. But as non-retail spending isn’t soaring, the economy probably didn’t regain much momentum after stagnating in July.

17 September 2021

More from Ruth Gregory

UK Data Response

Money & Credit (May)

The signs that households have started to borrow again provide us with confidence that May’s surprise fall in retail sales was a result of a shift in spending from retailers to other areas as the economy continued to reopen, rather than an indication that the economic recovery is already spluttering.

29 June 2021

UK Economics Weekly

BoE’s less hawkish stance relative to the Fed likely to persist

With few signs the Fed’s hawkishness at its May meeting has spread to the Bank of England, we think that the downward revision to market interest rate expectations has much further to go. While we find it hard to argue very strongly about the precise timing of the policy tightening in the UK, we are more convinced that it will come later than in the US (in 2023) and the mid-2022 date the markets have assumed.

25 June 2021

UK Economics Weekly

Households still amassing excess savings, 3rd wave fears

We don’t think that consumers’ reluctance to pay for their purchases on plastic, or their still-elevated cash holdings, are signs that they will be less willing to spend in the future. Meanwhile, the surge in new daily COVID-19 cases has raised concerns about whether the easing in restrictions will go ahead as planned on June 21st. But if there is a delay, we don’t think it will make a big difference to our GDP forecast. It is the reopening of shops, pubs and restaurants in April and May, rather than the easing of the final restrictions on social distancing, nightclubs and big events, that is the key driver of our forecast for GDP growth of 6.5% q/q in Q2 and 8.0% in 2021 as a whole.

4 June 2021
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