Chief Economist’s Weekly Brief – The fall

UK businesses appear in decent shape. Turnover is up as are Corporation Tax receipts. Yet sterling has lost roughly one-tenth of its value since June and that’s raising input costs and squeezing profits. A long summer of falling costs boosting profits is coming to an end. 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 – Revving up


Some parts of the UK economy are in overdrive, powered on by a rising population that keeps demand growing and the supply of workers flowing. But the strength that’s seen in household spending isn’t matched by exports or investment. The UK’s sectors and regions are running in different gears.

Continue reading

Chief Economist’s Weekly Brief – Decision time


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 – Lowdown

Last week was mostly about lows. First, the IMF downgraded its forecasts for the UK economy this year. Second, the Bank of England’s inaction is adding support to a “lower for longer” expectation for UK interest rates. And third, the US economy’s retail sector growth hit its third lowest number since 2008. Leave it to China then to hit a high – largest single quarter credit boost to the economy in its history. That high may yet be followed by a low… Continue reading