In the UK, the fiscal party continues. The government announced £12bn of funding for green initiatives this week and £16.5bn in additional defence spending. The government also published its latest public sector finances. For the fiscal year so far, the net borrowing requirement is £215bn, a staggering £169bn more than in the same period last year. The level of net public sector debt exceeded $2trn last month and stands at 100.8% of GDP, a level not seen since the 1960s.
As lockdown began, thousands of patients were sent from hospitals into care homes. In three months 18,562 people living in Care Homes died with COVID-19. Our report As if Expendable highlights the UK Government’s failure to protect older people in care homes during the COVID-19 pandemic. Cases of coronavirus are rising again in the build-up to winter, the government must learn lessons from its disastrous decisions and not repeat the same mistakes.
UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak today delivered a series of new measures and extensions to existing supports to help the UK economy through the winter months following the re-emergence of the coronavirus and re-imposition of wider restrictions on activity.
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.