Chief Economist’s Weekly Briefing – Calling into question

It’s a familiar narrative for the UK. Strong job growth but signs of a weakening consumer on the back of paltry income growth squeezed by higher inflation. Yet markets are convinced the Bank of England is raising rates on 2 November. The latest data suggests the decision will likely be more finely balanced for policy-makers.          Continue reading

Credit Crunch Cluedo – 10 years on

Ten years ago today heralded the start of the ‘credit crunch’. The term which was unfamiliar to most people entered dictionaries in 2008. A credit crunch refers to the sudden reduction in the availability of credit or a sudden tightening in the conditions to obtain credit. In short, the availability of credit decreased sharply and the cost of credit increased significantly. In turn, this morphed into the global financial crisis or GFC and was accompanied by a global downturn. The rest they say is history. A decade has passed and hundreds of books have been written about the credit crunch and the global financial crisis that followed.

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Chief Economist’s Weekly Brief – The only way is up (maybe)

One pound coin on fluctuating graph. Rate of the pound sterling (shallow DOF)
One pound coin on fluctuating graph. Rate of the pound sterling (shallow DOF)

As the world watches and waits for the outcome of the US election there are signs of modest improvements in performance across the major economies. The Bank of England marked up its 2017 growth forecast. The US continues to create jobs apace. Even the eurozone gives some cause for optimism. What could possibly go wrong?  Continue reading

Chief Economist’s Weekly Brief – Next time, I promise.

The Bank of England surprised last week by not cutting interest rates. The accompanying statement showed that most members expect to loosen monetary policy at August’s meeting. But given that expectation it left a perculiar question in its aftermath. If then, why not now? Continue reading

Chief Economist’s Weekly Brief – Decision time

crossroads

With five weeks to go before the EU referendum the campaigns are now in full swing and scrutinising every piece of data for signs of Brexit nervousness. Yet there’s still a lot going on that isn’t driven by our domestic political agenda and the Bank of England conceeded that the noise is making its job of interpreting the data more difficult.  Continue reading

Chief Economist’s Weekly Brief – Never a dull moment

A former Bank of England Governor once said of central banking that “boring is best”. Last week though, central bankers were once again hogging the limelight. First off, the US Federal Reserve, which having raised rates must now work out whether the economy can support them. Second the Bank of Japan, which joined the negative rate club. And with all eyes on the Bank of England this week, “boring” seems a distant memory.

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