Hit to GDP from pingdemic not huge, but unhelpful

We estimate that the “pingdemic”, which has contributed to 1.1 million people self-isolating in the week ending 14th July, could reduce monthly GDP by 0.5-1.0% and is surely exacerbating the current shortage of workers. That’s not a huge hit to the economy and fewer people will be self-isolating after the rules change on 16th August. But it is clearly not helpful.
Paul Dales Chief UK Economist
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UK Data Response

Public Finances (Dec.)

Stronger tax revenues were just enough to offset big rises in debt interest costs in December. But we don’t expect this to last: further rises in inflation will mean borrowing soon overshoots the OBR’s forecast. Even so, our forecasts suggest the Chancellor still has enough fiscal space to cancel April’s rise in NIC taxes. Drop-In (14:00 GMT, 26th Jan): UK Outlook -- More inflation, more interest rate hikes. Join our UK Economics team for a briefing on the 2022 outlook, including why we’re below consensus on growth but think the BoE will raise rates more than most expect. Register here.

25 January 2022

UK Data Response

IHS Markit/CIPS Flash PMIs (Jan.)

The third consecutive decline in the composite PMI indicates that the Omicron variant weighed further on activity in January. But the recent fall in COVID-19 cases, relaxation of restrictions and signs of easing supply shortages suggest the economy will recover quickly. And, given signs of accelerating price pressures, we still expect the Bank of England to hike interest rates a week on Thursday. Drop-In (14:00 GMT, 26th Jan): UK Outlook -- More inflation, more interest rate hikes. Join our UK Economics team for a briefing on the 2022 outlook, including why we’re below consensus on growth but think the BoE will raise rates more than most expect. Register here.  

24 January 2022

UK Economics Weekly

Economy less favourable for whoever’s in Number 10

Although it is hard to predict whether by the end of next week Boris Johnson’s reign as Prime Minister will be solidifying or crumbling, we know that whoever is in Number 10 over the next year will have to deal with the cost of living crisis. Our forecast that inflation will rise to a little above 7% explains why we think GDP growth this year will fall short of the consensus forecast and why we think interest rates will be raised further than most expect, from 0.25% now to 1.25% by the end of the year. Drop-In (14:00 GMT, 26th Jan): UK Outlook -- More inflation, more interest rate hikes. Join our UK Economics team for a briefing on the 2022 outlook, including why we’re below consensus on growth but think the BoE will raise rates more than most expect. Register here.

21 January 2022

More from Paul Dales

UK Economics Weekly

New BoE and gilt yield forecasts

This week’s signs that two members of the Monetary Policy Committee have become more worried about the upside risks to inflation have led us to bring forward our forecast of when policy will be tightened from February 2024 to August 2023. That’s still some way off and is 12 months later than the financial markets expect. Because of that, we have also revised down our forecast for 10-year gilt yields.

16 July 2021

UK Data Response

Consumer Prices (Jun.)

The rise in CPI inflation from 2.1% in May to 2.5% in June was smaller than the leap in US inflation to 5.4% released yesterday, but we think the gap between the two will shrink as inflation in the UK climbs to around 4.0% by the end of the year. That said, as we suspect that the spike in UK inflation will be short-lived, we don’t expect the Bank of England to tighten policy anytime soon.

14 July 2021

UK Economics Weekly

No need to fear as furlough enters final furlong

We think that concerns about the winding up of the furlough scheme are overdone for two reasons. First, at the end of May only 2.3m people were on furlough and half of them were working at least some hours. Second, by the time the scheme closes at the end of September, we think GDP will have risen back to its pre-pandemic peak. That means the economy can support a level of employment similar to the current level. As such, the furlough will probably go down in history as the scheme that averted a bloodbath in the labour market.

2 July 2021
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