Quarterly National Accounts (Q2)

The bulk of the pain of Q2’s slump in GDP had been borne by the government rather than households and businesses. But with the recovery already flattening off, fiscal support fading and the full scale of the fallout in unemployment yet to be felt, that will change in the second half of 2020.
Ruth Gregory Senior 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 Ruth Gregory

UK Data Response

Money & Credit (May)

The signs that households have started to borrow again provide us with confidence that May’s surprise fall in retail sales was a result of a shift in spending from retailers to other areas as the economy continued to reopen, rather than an indication that the economic recovery is already spluttering.

29 June 2021

UK Economics Weekly

BoE’s less hawkish stance relative to the Fed likely to persist

With few signs the Fed’s hawkishness at its May meeting has spread to the Bank of England, we think that the downward revision to market interest rate expectations has much further to go. While we find it hard to argue very strongly about the precise timing of the policy tightening in the UK, we are more convinced that it will come later than in the US (in 2023) and the mid-2022 date the markets have assumed.

25 June 2021

UK Economics Weekly

Households still amassing excess savings, 3rd wave fears

We don’t think that consumers’ reluctance to pay for their purchases on plastic, or their still-elevated cash holdings, are signs that they will be less willing to spend in the future. Meanwhile, the surge in new daily COVID-19 cases has raised concerns about whether the easing in restrictions will go ahead as planned on June 21st. But if there is a delay, we don’t think it will make a big difference to our GDP forecast. It is the reopening of shops, pubs and restaurants in April and May, rather than the easing of the final restrictions on social distancing, nightclubs and big events, that is the key driver of our forecast for GDP growth of 6.5% q/q in Q2 and 8.0% in 2021 as a whole.

4 June 2021
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