Europe

UK

Labour Market (Nov./Dec.)

The labour market appears to have tightened after the end of the furlough scheme and at the start of the Omicron wave. So even though real wages are now falling and will decline further, we still expect the Bank of England to raise interest rates from 0.25% to 0.50% on 3rd February and to 1.25% by December.

18 January 2022

More inflation, more interest rate hikes

Although the hit to households’ real incomes from a bigger surge in CPI inflation than most expect (to a peak of almost 7% in April) explains why we think GDP growth will be slower this year than the consensus forecast, we still think that the leap in inflation will prompt the Bank of England to raise interest rates further this year than most economists anticipate, from 0.25% to 1.25%. The risks are that the labour market remains stronger for longer, CPI inflation stays above the 2% target well into next year and the Bank of England raises interest rates further in 2023.

17 January 2022

Gradual flexible office recovery underway

Having been hit hard in 2020, improving economic conditions supported flexible office take-up in 2021, albeit caution and consolidation limited the net increase in space. While we expect take-up to remain low compared to the pre-virus period, we think it will improve in 2022, with demand for flexibility and the lower cost of desk space in some markets encouraging a shift towards flexible space.

17 January 2022
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Ramifications could be bigger if PM stays than if he goes

The growing uncertainty over the Prime Minister Boris Johnson's position is unlikely to dent economic activity. Arguably, though, if a leadership challenge is avoided or Boris Johnson wins it, the medium-term political and economic ramifications could be bigger than if he steps down. Even so, we doubt recent political events will transform the economic outlook this year, which is one of inflation rising to a peak of 7% causing the economy to be weaker than most expect and the Bank of England to raise interest rates from 0.25% now to 1.25%.

Estimating the carbon transition risk to property values

Real estate potentially has a significant role to play in helping achieve ambitious climate targets. We have estimated the size of the risks in the transition to net zero for the commercial property markets that we cover. This risk varies widely across markets and sectors, but suggests that the costs, at less than 8% of current capital values, are significant but not insurmountable. In view of the wider interest, we are also sending this European Commercial Property Update to clients of our UK and US Commercial Property services.

Which assets can provide the best inflation protection?

Recent data have reinforced concerns about inflation risks in the UK. We remain of the view that property investments provide only limited long-term protection against higher prices, but of the individual asset types, we think industrial and residential are best placed to weather any surge. In view of the wider interest, we are also sending this UK Commercial Property Update to clients of our UK Housing Service.

GDP & International Trade (Nov.)

Although the effects of the Omicron COVID-19 wave will probably mean that the economy falls back below its pre-pandemic peak by January after having surpassed it for the first time in November, that will probably prove to be a temporary setback. That said, a sharp rise in taxes and utility prices on 1st April will be a drag on the recovery for the rest of this year.

14 January 2022

The outlook for high-beta DM currencies in 2022

We think that rate differentials and commodity prices will be the key factors driving the relative performance of six “high-beta” DM currencies in 2022, continuing last year’s trend. We expect all these currencies to lose ground against the US dollar this year, although we think that a more hawkish Riksbank and Bank of England will mean that SEK and GBP hold up best, while our forecast of falling energy prices, especially that of European natural gas, suggests to us that NOK will do worst. Drop-In: Neil Shearing will host an online panel of our senior economists to answer your questions and update on macro and markets this Thursday, 13th January (11:00 ET/16:00 GMT). Register for the latest on everything from Omicron to the Fed to our key calls for 2022. Registration here.

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