There are some notable reasons for near-term reasons for optimism in the UK. The housing market seems to be picking up, industrial production growth is looking up together with PMI data and the equity market has done well. All these are real and significant signs of a better economy in the UK, but the structural challenges remain.
Since tapering discussions pushed up yields in the US, this has led to a steepening of yield curves across the developed world. The US has seen the greatest steepening, which argues for higher growth in the US ahead. However, the…
Data in the UK has been broadly positive, with much fanfare over revised GDP data showing the UK avoided the dreaded ‘double dip’. This is a trivial distinction; the reality is the UK is still bumping along the bottom. Manufacturing…
The UK Treasury’s decision to transfer coupon income from the Bank of England’s Asset Purchase Facility is a step towards ‘fiscal dominance’, where the fiscal authority ultimately gains the upper hand from the central bank and we see monetisation of public sector debts and deficits.
Some cheer was reported when UK industrial production rebounded a stronger than expected 2.9% MoM in July. Manufacturing output also rose a stronger than expected 3.2% MoM. The longer-term picture, however, remains bleak.
The strength of sterling has been in part due to some safe-haven flows from the Middle East (where sometimes GBP is seen as a preferable safe-haven to the USD or CHF), but this is not the fundamental driver.
UK inflation has been falling, driven mainly by a fall in consumer demand, and last year’s VAT increase falling out of the year-on-year comparisons. Looking under the bonnet, however, reveals a disconnect between inflation of ‘necessary’ and ‘discretionary’ goods.