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Policymakers will make or break 2021

2021 is bound to be a better year for the economy than 2020. How much better depends on what happens with Brexit by 11pm GMT on 31st December 2020 and whether or not the Chancellor tightens fiscal policy. If Sunak resists, as we think he should, then 2020 could prove to be a better year for the economy than most anticipate.
Paul Dales Chief UK Economist
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More from UK Markets

UK Markets Chart Book

Gilts to struggle sooner, equities to struggle for longer

We haven’t changed our forecast that the Bank of England will raise interest rates from 1.25% now to a peak of 3.00% by the middle of next year. But we do now think that a number of other central banks will raise interest rates faster and to higher levels to try and get on top of inflation. As a result of these global factors, we now think that 10-year gilt yields will rise from 2.35% currently to a peak of 3.00% by the end of this year rather than to 3.00% by the middle of next year. We also think the FTSE 100 will fall from 7,050 now to a trough of around 6,600 by the end of next year (rather than to a low of 6,800 by the middle of next year). In other words, rises in global interest rates and the toll they will take on activity will result in the prices of gilts falling faster and UK equity prices falling further and for longer.

23 June 2022

UK Markets Outlook

Stagflation stalking the markets

If we are right in expecting inflationary pressure to stay strong even as the economy gets dangerously close to a recession, then the prices of gilts and UK equities will probably fall further over the next year. Our forecast that the Bank of England will raise interest rates from 1.00% now to 3.00% next year would take rates above the peak of 2.50% priced into the markets and would therefore suggest that 10-year gilt yields will rise further than widely expected (perhaps from 1.90% to 3.00%) and that the FTSE 100 will fall further (perhaps from 7,500 to 6,800). The risk is that an even weaker economy prompts equity prices to fall further. And with inflation high, the markets can’t rely on the Bank of England to provide any relief.

26 May 2022

UK Markets Chart Book

Markets too sanguine on interest rates

Our new forecasts that inflation will stay higher for longer and that the labour market will remain tight into 2023 suggests that Bank Rate will rise to a peak of 3.00% next year rather than the peak of 2.50% currently priced into the markets. As a result, we have revised up our forecasts for gilt yields. We now think the 10-year yield will rise from 1.84% to 3.00% by the middle of 2023. And in response to the prospect of weaker economic growth and higher interest rates, we have revised down our equity price forecasts. We expect the FTSE 100 to fall from 7,550 now to around 7,250 by the end of this year. Finally, this negative shift in investor sentiment partly explains why we have revised down our forecasts for the pound. We think the pound will weaken from $1.26 now to around $1.22 by December. UK Drop-In (Thurs. 5th May, 15:30 BST): Paul Dales and Ruth Gregory will be discussing our UK Economic Outlook, including our above-consensus call for UK interest rates, in a 20-minute online briefing after the May MPC meeting. Register now

29 April 2022

More from Paul Dales

UK Economics Update

CPI inflation may peak around 4%

Bigger rises in commodity and component costs than we had expected mean that we now think CPI inflation will rise from 2.1% in May to a peak of about 4.0% around the turn of the year. But we still think this will be a short, sharp spike in inflation that won’t feed into persistently faster pay growth or higher inflation expectations for a couple of years yet. As such, we suspect the Monetary Policy Committee will look through it and won’t tighten policy as soon mid-2022 as the financial markets expect.

6 July 2021

UK Data Response

GDP (Q1 Final)

The small downward revision to Q1 GDP growth probably won’t stop the economy from rising back to its pre-pandemic peak in the coming months. And the larger-than-expected rebound in the household saving rate increases the potential for faster rises in GDP further ahead.

30 June 2021

UK Economics Update

Recovery evolving rather than stalling

The recent softening in some indicators of activity is probably mostly a result of shifts in spending patterns within the economy rather than a sign that the recovery has already stalled. As such, we still expect monthly GDP to rise back to its pre-pandemic level by the autumn.

29 June 2021
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