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
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
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
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
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
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
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)
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
This post discusses the increasingly global financial market “safe haven” impacts of rising Brexit uncertainties, and previews this week’s BoE, Fed and BoJ policy meetings (which will impact market tone). The main points are: Previous financial market complacency about Brexit risks (see here) has been replaced by more generalised “safe haven” asset prices impacts, as … More Brexit safe haven impacts turn global: Fed and BoJ to take note
This post considers whether sterling’s post-April rally represents an overshoot and dissects the May Inflation Report’s treatment of Brexit-affected asset prices. The main points are: Sterling has, as I expected, continued to closely track betting market Brexit odds, recently down to the low-20%’s from over 40% in April, but has also been supported by the continued … More How fragile is sterling’s recent bounce? Should MPC have also adjusted OIS rates in May?
The following previews Thursday’s BoE May Inflation Report (IR) and MPC minutes. Overall MPC seems unlikely to give a strong policy steer, given the proximity of the EU referendum vote. So rate and FX market impacts are likely to be limited – although probably dovish at the margin (and perhaps a bigger FX impact) despite … More MPC Preview: detailing Brexit uncertainty impacts, downplaying forecast inflation overshoot
Tuesday’s IMF warning of the adverse (global) impacts of a Brexit vote, with some effects already apparent, follows concerns in the March MPC minutes (which seem likely to be amplified in Thursday’s April MPC minutes). Unfortunately, neither provided any specific evidence. This post fills that gap, detailing the macro-financial impacts evident thus far, drawing on … More Tracking the macro-financial impacts of Brexit uncertainties: Killing the goose that lays the golden eggs?
Sterling has, as I previously anticipated here and here, continued to depreciate as Brexit uncertainties have become increasingly priced. The TWI is now down 11% since November (GBPJPY down over 19%) while implied volatilities and risk reversals have continued rising. But Brexit effects have more recently been reinforced by renewed concerns about the UK’s current … More Current account and growth concerns add to sterling’s Brexit worries: further weakness ahead
Market hopes for a Plaza-type agreement at the 26-27 February G20 meeting in Shanghai 26-27 February, to help ameliorate the substantial issues facing the global economy and calm market volatility, have been growing. But I’m not expecting any really impactful policy announcements, much as I wasn’t expecting Yellen’s Congressional testimony to be a silver bullet … More G20 meeting: expectations of updated Plaza accord to be disappointed
The BoE was in distinctly dovish mode yesterday, despite inflation lying further above target at policy-relevant horizons. I’d characterise it as “pea souper Thursday”: the strong focus on EM weakness and more persistent disinflationary impacts from previous sterling strength echo recent foggy UK weather. The main lesson seems to be that MPC are keen to … More BOE Pea Souper Thursday Raises Question and Hasn’t Yet Dislodged Fed Mini Me Tendencies
This morning’s BoE data (for June) contained two potential downsides: (i) weak corporate borrowing, actually involving net repayments on the month even on the broader total external finance measure and a rise in borrowing rates equivalent to a 25bp MPC rate hike; (ii) a fall back in foreign demand for UK government securities. Against that, … More Divergent UK sectoral borrowing trends and reduced foreign demand for UK debt: monetary policy implications?