David Page (Head of Macro Research at AXA Investment Managers) | The Bank of England (BoE) today announced its monetary policy decision for May. It left the Bank Rate unchanged at 0.10% as widely expected, by unanimous vote. It also left QE unchanged, leaving the Asset Purchase Facility target unchanged at £645bn. This was in line with the median consensus forecast, but we had expected a £100bn increase in QE today as the current programme is set to expire in early July. This was by split decision, with two members voting for an immediate £100bn increase. The majority of the Committee decided to wait for “more information… that was likely to become available over the coming weeks”, but these members “all” acknowledged prospective weakness in the economy and downside risks to the medium term outlook “might necessitate further monetary policy action to support the economy in the future”. We fully expect the MPC to increase QE, probably by £100bn at its next meeting on 18 June.
Political uncertainty about the Brexit procedure caused the United Kingdom’s (UK’s) gross domestic product (GDP) to stagnate in the fourth quarter of 2019. However, the strong decrease in political uncertainty since the 12 December parliamentary election should allow the UK economy to rebound back to growth during the first quarter of this year, explains Janwillem Acket, chief economist at Julius Baer.
Allianz GI / Victory for Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative party in the UK general election is likely to be welcomed by markets and potentially boosts prospects for the UK economy. It doesn’t, however, end the Brexit uncertainty overnight – and the UK continues to be vulnerable to a late-cycle global environment.
By end March, the UK will trigger the nuclear button splitting it from the European Union. A landmark decision which will determine both parties’ future, irrespective of the side of the English Channel they find themselves on.
BoAML | After Brexit, we followed through on our scenario analysis, penciling in a full-blown UK recession, cutting 0.5% off of Euro Area growth and slicing 0.2% off of US and global growth. Events since Brexit have not changed our call. The pound has plunged more than 11% since the vote, and both consumer and business confidence have tumbled.
Time is moving on. After the more than satisfactory agreement reached by Prime Minister David Cameron after renegotiating the UK’s relationship with the European Union, the countdown to the June 23rd referendum has begun. And as happened with the Scottish referendum, the British government is ready to bring out all the big guns.
The sale of Telefonica’s O2 to Hong Kong telecoms giant Hutchison remains up in the air. And the European Commission (EC), which has the final responsibility for the outcome of the transaction, is still being a dog in a manger, under pressure from the UK authorities.
The Chancellor’s latest Budget saw the cumulative forecast for government borrowing over the next five years revised up by close to GBP 40bn. This reflects both weaker cyclical growth and also the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) taking a gloomier view on UK trend productivity growth.