Fade hawkish MPC minutes: contrary to MPC three judgements plus downside risks to UK consumption & net exports

This piece argues that last week’s susprising-hawkish MPC vote and minutes do not represent a dramatic change in the picture for UK monetary policy.  The limits to the MPC approach of looking through temporarily above-target inflation, driven by sterling’s post-referendum depreciation, are further from being reached than the minutes-related headlines suggest. So the limited rebounds … More Fade hawkish MPC minutes: contrary to MPC three judgements plus downside risks to UK consumption & net exports

ECB Preview: subdued wage and core inflation prospects mean it’s too early to tone down forward guidance

This piece argues that, despite recent improved €Area inflation and activity data, Draghi is likely to reiterate a highly-acccommodative ECB policy stance at Thursday’s press conference. Contrary to growing market discussions, the ECB is very unlikely to drop it’s forward guidance text on potential further rate cuts as it remains focussed on subdued core inflation … More ECB Preview: subdued wage and core inflation prospects mean it’s too early to tone down forward guidance

Trump’s impossible trinity likely resolved by dollar strength but potential bumpy ride

This piece discusses dollar propsects in light of it’s 2017 retracement and the impossible trinity of fiscal expansion, independent US monetary policy and dollar jawboning which the Trump adminstration seems to be pursuing (alongside prospects for US and foreign monetary policy).  If Trump eventually delivers a substantial fiscal expansion the impossible trinity seems most likely … More Trump’s impossible trinity likely resolved by dollar strength but potential bumpy ride

February Inflation Report Preview: Focus on Consumers and Inflation Expectations

This piece previews Thursday’s Bank of England Feburary Inflation Report and MPC minutes, where the key issues will be: (i) how much longer can consumption continue to be the single engine generating UK growth?; and (ii) MPC remain tolerant of prospective above-target inflation? The main points are: MPC will as expected by the market undoubtedly … More February Inflation Report Preview: Focus on Consumers and Inflation Expectations

Poor UK Net Export-Inflation Tradeoffs Following Sterling’s Depreciation

Recent positive UK data surprises have caused economists to revise up UK growth forecasts and BoE Governor Carney recently hinted that the February Inflation Report would follow suit. Despite that, my argument from last October that UK net exports were likely to disappoint, even with sterling’s sharp depreciation, has proved accurate thus far (Q3 UK … More Poor UK Net Export-Inflation Tradeoffs Following Sterling’s Depreciation

FOMC Preview: Cautious Yellen likely aiming to limit market impact of rate hike, but watch term premia

This post summarises my views on Wednesday’s much-anticipated US Federal Reserve meeting and potential 2017 trends.  The main points are: A 25bp Fed rate rate hike is fully priced by Fed Funds futures – given the improved US macro situation, Trump’s prospective (but uncertain) fiscal stimulus and strong signals from Fed Governors. So the market … More FOMC Preview: Cautious Yellen likely aiming to limit market impact of rate hike, but watch term premia

Trump Towers over €Area political risks: periphery yields and € pressurised

This piece considers the macro-financial implications of the Euro Area’s political risks, in greater market focus following Donald Trump’s election win (which I argued was underpriced), focussing on the 4 December Italian Consitutional Referendum.  Overall, further politics-driven market volatility seems likely, even if political concerns eventually dissipate. The main points are: Financial markets’ previous under-pricing of … More Trump Towers over €Area political risks: periphery yields and € pressurised

Could lightning strike twice? FX impacts of US election cliffhanger: Trump win underpriced

This report analyses the likely FX market implications of the too close to call US election. Overall it seems that markets could, like the Brexit vote, be under-pricing lightening striking. But the dollar could rise irrespective of the result, although more immediately/obviously following a Clinton win, with vulnerable risk-positive currencies likely being most sensitive to … More Could lightning strike twice? FX impacts of US election cliffhanger: Trump win underpriced

UK trade to party like it’s 1992? Watch out cyclical and structural headwinds

This post argues that cyclical and structural factors represent headwinds to the hope that the UK is set to emulate the post-ERM depreciation period and enjoy a net exports bonanza in the wake of sterling’s recent sharp depreciation. The main points are: The post-ERM story is more nuanced than often reported. While UK nominal exports … More UK trade to party like it’s 1992? Watch out cyclical and structural headwinds

Sterling becomes unlovable on medium-term Brexit macro worries: further weakness likely

I know I’m unloveable, you don’t have to tell me Oh, message received loud and clear, loud and clear The Smiths, Unloveable A month ago I argued  (see here) that better near-term UK activity data shouldn’t be interpreted as showing that the UK was out of the woods in it’s difficult Brexit journey. Rather, I … More Sterling becomes unlovable on medium-term Brexit macro worries: further weakness likely

Yen strength likely with further BoJ ill communication, asymmetric risks

This post previews Wednesday’s highly-uncertain but very important Bank of Japan policy meeting, featuring the Comprehensive Assessment of monetary policy. Overall, there’s a strong risk of BoJ disappointing dovish market expectations thereby generating Yen upside and a bond market sell-off (although the FOMC decision will also impact) and smaller market moves are likely should the BoJ try to … More Yen strength likely with further BoJ ill communication, asymmetric risks

September ECB: 6-month QE extension justified, but risk of disappointment

This post previews this week’s ECB policy meeting. The main points are: In July Draghi stressed that the ECB was open to all options on further easing, were watching emerging data closely and would use flexibility to meet their €80bn a month purchase target (they only managed €60.5bn in August). Several developments indicate that ending … More September ECB: 6-month QE extension justified, but risk of disappointment

Pleasantly-surprising manufacturing PMI doesn’t mean the UK’s out of the Brexit woods

This mornings’ substantially better than expected UK manufacturing PMI release – rising to an 10-month high of 53.3 in August, versus market expectations of a smaller bounce to 49.0 after July’s 48.3 – has generated substantial market commentary. The broad-based nature of the bounceback was notable, with rebounds in both the output and new orders balances. … More Pleasantly-surprising manufacturing PMI doesn’t mean the UK’s out of the Brexit woods

Yellen at Jackson Hole: Don’t Rock the Boat?

This post previews Janet Yellen’s 26 August Jackson Hole appearance, and the likely market implications.  The main points are: Recent FOMC mixed messages – Dudley’s/Fisher’s recent small hawkish drift versus Williamson’s/Bullard’s dovishness, reflecting the difficult issues confronting the Fed – underpin market confusion about Fed policy. Neverthless, markets remain sceptical about the likelihood of further US … More Yellen at Jackson Hole: Don’t Rock the Boat?

MPC: Immediate risk-management “sledgehammer” easing justified, although (tweaked) QE extension could be delayed until November so risk of £ short squeeze

This post previews Thursday’s key MPC policy decision, minutes and Inflation Report, in light of the continued deterioration of UK survey indicators and the MPC’s surprisingly-cautious approach three weeks ago (see here for my arguments for a confidence-boosting risk-management initial 25 cut). Overall, while a 25bp rate cut seems inevitable there’s some danger of MPC’s overall package … More MPC: Immediate risk-management “sledgehammer” easing justified, although (tweaked) QE extension could be delayed until November so risk of £ short squeeze

Markets under-pricing post-Brexit MPC easing: further £ falls as economic weakness trumps recent reduced political uncertainty

This post previews Thursday’s MPC decision and discusses prospects for sterling. The main points are: (i) markets are under-pricing the chances of MPC rate cuts on Thursday and, especially, in August/November. A full 25bp rate cut is not priced by end-year despite Carney’s strong indication of action during the summer.  Moreover, immediate action would usefully support … More Markets under-pricing post-Brexit MPC easing: further £ falls as economic weakness trumps recent reduced political uncertainty

Brexit vote: where there is harmony may we bring discord (global concerns, UK recession, MPC rate cuts and further £ falls)

Margaret Thatcher’s 1979 election victory speech famously quoted St Francis of Assisi: “Where there is discord may we bring harmony, where there is error may we bring truth, where there is doubt may we bring faith, and where there is despair may we bring hope.” The decision to hold a UK EU membership referendum has … More Brexit vote: where there is harmony may we bring discord (global concerns, UK recession, MPC rate cuts and further £ falls)

Brexit signs were there to see if financial markets had been less myopic

Today’s Brexit vote has shaken global financial markets (£/$ touching 30-year lows, safe haven assets like bunds supported while equities have tanked), prompted PM Cameron’s (impending) resignation and caused Mark Carney to stress that £250bn of liquidity is available and appear more open to further monetary easing (backing a little away from the previous “we could … More Brexit signs were there to see if financial markets had been less myopic

EU Referendum: hoping for “remain” but markets overly sanguine

Financial markets approach tomorrow’s UK EU referendum vote apparently pretty confident that “remain” will prevail.  While I’m hopeful of a “remain” vote – I’m one of the 90%-plus off economists who firmly think that Brexit would generate significant UK/international macro costs and might not end up solving immigration concerns (if single market access is to … More EU Referendum: hoping for “remain” but markets overly sanguine