Why we changed our mind on the BoE

There were two key reasons behind our decision to forecast that the Bank of England will first raise interest rates in 2022 rather than in 2023. First, there is more evidence that the rise in inflation is feeding into faster underlying wage growth and higher inflation expectations. Second, the Bank’s reaction function appears to have changed as it seems less willing to look through a temporary rise in inflation. That said, we still think that the Bank will raise interest rates a little later than the February 2022 date priced into the market and to a lower level by the end of 2024 than investors expect.
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 Markets Chart Book

Worrying more about higher inflation

The recent rises in 2-year and 10-year gilt yields to their highest levels since the “dash for cash” at the start of the pandemic have entirely been driven by the investors revising up their expectations for inflation. Indeed, 10-year break-even inflation rates are now at their highest level since the Global Financial Crisis (GFC). Our forecast that RPI inflation will shoot up from 3.8% in August to just over 6.0% by the end of the year suggests that break-even inflation rates may yet rise further. But they should then drop back next year as the bulk of the rise in RPI inflation is reversed. What’s more, our view that the Bank of England will put more weight on the recent weakening in activity than the rise in inflation and won’t raise Bank Rate until 2023 suggests that a big surge in nominal gilt yields is not around the corner.

21 September 2021

UK Data Response

Consumer Prices (Aug.)

The leap in CPI inflation from 2.0% in July to a nine-year high of 3.2% in August (consensus 2.9%, CE 3.1%) is the first step in a rise that may take inflation to 4.5% or above by November. But as inflation will fall back almost as sharply next year, we don’t think the MPC will raise interest rates until mid-2023.

15 September 2021

UK Economics Weekly

Economic recovery enters a more challenging phase

The economy is entering a more challenging phase of its recovery from the pandemic as it is having to deal with another rise in COVID-19 cases and both product and labour shortages. We think the recovery will continue, but it will be harder going than over the past six months and will come alongside a period of higher inflation.

10 September 2021
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