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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
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

BoE Watch

Rates heading to 3.0% as MPC focuses on inflation concerns

The weakening economic outlook has deepened the dilemma facing the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC). But we think the MPC is sufficiently worried about rising price/wage expectations to raise Bank Rate from 0.75% to 1.00% on Thursday 5th May and to start shrinking the balance sheet quicker by selling gilts. Based on our forecast that the labour market will be tighter and that wage/price expectations will be more persistent, we expect the MPC to hike rates to 3.00% in 2023. That’s above the peak priced into the markets (2.50%) and the peak expected by a consensus of economists (2.00%). 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

28 April 2022

More from Paul Dales

UK Economics Weekly

Real income hit and recession risk

There are two reasons why we are not expecting the fall in real incomes triggered by the rise in a host of prices and taxes from today to lead to a recession. First, further rises in employment and earnings will offset some of the drag on real household disposable incomes from higher prices and taxes. Second, we think households will be willing to reduce their saving rate further so that they can keep spending while their real incomes are falling.

1 April 2022

UK Markets Chart Book

Financial conditions as tight as after the Brexit vote

The war in Ukraine has contributed to a tightening in financial conditions that will contribute to weaker GDP growth for the rest of this year and next year. Admittedly, a lot of the initial plunges in UK equity prices and gilt yields have been reversed. But the lasting financial market effects from the war in Ukraine so far appear to be higher commodity prices, higher interest rate expectations and wider corporate bond spreads. That’s why UK financial conditions have tightened to levels similar to those seen after the EU Referendum in 2016. While this will weigh on GDP growth this year and next, the tightening seen so far doesn’t pose a systemic risk.

29 March 2022

UK Data Response

Consumer Prices (Feb.)

The further rise in CPI inflation from 5.5% in January to a new 30-year high of 6.2% in February adds to the pressure on the Chancellor to offset more of the cost of living crisis in today’s fiscal Spring Statement. And with inflation now more than three times the Bank of England’s 2% target, the Bank may reassess its dovish tone after it raised interest rates to 0.75% last week. We think rates will rise to 2.00% next year. Commodities Drop-In (24 March, 11:00 EDT/15:00 GMT): Our Commodities team will be exploring how the war in Ukraine is shaking up commodity markets, from oil to wheat, while tackling some of the big market questions – not least whether we’re in for 1970s-style oil supply shocks. Register here.

23 March 2022
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