UK GDP growth remains sluggish

Latest figures from the Office for National Statistics show the UK economy saw a small pick-up in GDP growth, but the overall environment remains sluggish. The preliminary estimate shows second quarter GDP growth at 0.3% compared to 0.2% in the first quarter, and matching consensus expectations. To put the recent growth figures into context, the … Continue reading “UK GDP growth remains sluggish”

Consumers under pressure as UK inflation continues to rise

More bad news for UK households. The annual rate of consumer price index (CPI) inflation rose from 2.3% in March to 2.7% in April – higher than consensus estimates of 2.6%. Meanwhile, the retail price index (RPI) measure of inflation jumped from 3.1% to 3.5% over the same period, also slightly higher than consensus expectations. … Continue reading “Consumers under pressure as UK inflation continues to rise”

Increasingly hawkish language from the Federal Reserve

Although US economic growth proved somewhat disappointing during the final quarter of 2016, Fed policymakers appear ready to increase interest rates as soon as it becomes appropriate; indeed, Fed Chair Janet Yellen warned that an unnecessary delay in tightening could prove “unwise”.  Meanwhile, European investors faced fresh uncertainties surrounding Greece’s financial bailout. Leading equity markets … Continue reading “Increasingly hawkish language from the Federal Reserve”

UK inflation jumps as sterling fall starts to be felt

UK inflation beats estimates UK consumer price inflation hits its highest level for two and a half years.   The annual rate of UK inflation based on the consumer prices index (CPI) increased to 1.6% in December compared to 1.4% in the previous month – the fastest pace of inflation for two and a half years. … Continue reading “UK inflation jumps as sterling fall starts to be felt”

Will the UK consumer keep spending?

There have been alarms put round that the UK will witness a big squeeze on real incomes, leading to a reduction in consumer demand. The argument goes that the devaluation of the pound will cause substantial price increase, which will eat into wage increases and cause a fall in real incomes and spending power. The … Continue reading “Will the UK consumer keep spending?”

How investors can prepare for rising UK inflation

Various forces are conspiring to push UK inflation higher, here we discuss these and the investment implications of accelerating price rises. Given current economic headwinds, some have suggested that the era of extremely low interest rates and inflation is here to stay. However, a number of factors suggest that UK inflation is set to rise … Continue reading “How investors can prepare for rising UK inflation”

Oil and financials dominated in September

UK equity growth – UK equity indices rose during September, although short-term sentiment and market movements were affected by developments in the financials and energy sectors, and broader speculation over US monetary policy. The banking sector was undermined by a steep fall in the share price of Germany’s Deutsche Bank The price of oil received … Continue reading “Oil and financials dominated in September”

Bank of England cuts interest rates to 0.25%: what next?

The Bank of England has cut rates for the first time in seven years. We offer the latest market forecasts and assess the impact on savings and mortgages. The Bank of England (BoE) announced a quarter point cut in the UK bank rate to 0.25% at midday today (Thursday), marking the first change in more … Continue reading “Bank of England cuts interest rates to 0.25%: what next?”

Even lower for even longer: How low can they go?

Interest rates held, for now…. Mark Carney surprised markets by not cutting interest rates. However, he has made it clear that he is poised to cut whenever the moment demands and while this threat hovers over markets, slightly bonkers asset pricing can persist. But while the high price of defensive assets may persist, it doesn’t … Continue reading “Even lower for even longer: How low can they go?”