UK Economics Correspondent, London
Andy's Feed
Aug 5, 2015

UK services slowdown signals cooler economy in second half of 2015

LONDON, Aug 5 (Reuters) – Britain’s economic recovery
probably slowed a touch at the start of the second half of this
year, according to a survey published as Bank of England
officials are expected to be split on whether to raise interest

Wednesday’s Markit/CIPS services purchasing managers’ index
showed growth among services firms slowed more than expected in
July and they hired the fewest staff since March 2014, adding to
other recent signs of a cooling in Britain’s employment boom.

Aug 5, 2015
via MacroScope

More signs of ‘Britain the Unbalanced’

While still signaling a solid rate of economic expansion in Britain, the latest batch of business surveys from Markit/CIPS will do little to quell unease about the lopsidedness of the recovery.

It also contained a bit of pre-financial crisis déjà vu.

Wednesday’s report showed growth in Britain’s vast service sector outpaced that of the manufacturing sector for the 31st month running – so no surprise there. Service sector-led growth has been a hallmark of the recovery since 2013.

Jul 29, 2015

UK mortgage lending jumps in June, business lending plunges

LONDON (Reuters) – British mortgage lending picked up strongly in June, adding to signs that the housing market is regaining momentum, but a sharp drop in lending to businesses was a reminder that the economic recovery has yet to find a sounder footing.

The value of mortgage lending rose by the largest amount in almost seven years, while there was a renewed rise in mortgage approvals, Bank of England figures on Wednesday showed.

Jul 28, 2015

Hedge fund economist to join Bank of England’s MPC

LONDON (Reuters) – An economist from one of the world’s biggest hedge funds has been appointed to help set Bank of England interest rates, Britain’s Treasury said on Tuesday.

Gertjan Vlieghe will step down from his role as a partner at Brevan Howard, which runs a $24 billion macro hedge fund that bets on interest rate moves, to return to the BoE where he previously worked as an advisor to former governor Mervyn King.

Jul 23, 2015

Economists say fundamentals strong despite British retail sales dip

LONDON, July 23 (Reuters) – British retail sales suffered an
unexpected dip last month, wrong-footing economists who said
rising wages and lower prices still pointed to strong prospects
for consumer spending, a mainstay of the country’s growth.

Sterling slid half a cent against the dollar after the
Office for National Statistics reported a 0.2 percent fall in
June retail sales on Thursday, prompting traders to reconsider
bets on a Bank of England rate rise before the end of the year.

Jul 21, 2015

Britain sees near-record demand at sale of ultra-long bonds

LONDON, July 21 (Reuters) – A British government bond sale
drew near-record demand on Tuesday as investors placed orders
for more than 15 billion pounds ($23.3 billion) of debt maturing
in more than 50 years’ time.

The UK Debt Management Office said it sold 4 billion pounds
of the 3.5 percent 2068 gilt after dealers received
orders totalling 15.5 billion pounds, the most since a record
16.5 billion pounds of orders at a syndication in June 2014.

Jul 21, 2015
via MacroScope

Does the Bank of England really follow the Fed?

“Daft” is how outgoing Bank of England policymaker David Miles described the idea that Britain’s central bank would have to wait for the U.S. Federal Reserve before hiking interest rates.

Central bankers are always keen to stress their independence. But has the BoE tended to be a Fed follower or driver?

Jul 17, 2015

Carney signals Bank of England rate hike decision around turn of year

LONDON (Reuters) – Bank of England Governor Mark Carney has raised the possibility that the central bank could lift interest rates from their record low before the year is out, his strongest hint yet that the BoE is moving towards tighter policy.

Carney said in a speech late on Thursday that the British economy’s strong momentum meant the decision on when to raise rates would come into sharper focus around the end of this year.

Jul 17, 2015

BoE’s Carney signals rate hike decision around turn of year

LONDON (Reuters) – Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said on Thursday the decision to raise interest rates from record lows will come into sharper focus around the end of this year, his strongest hint yet about the timing of the British central bank’s next move.

Carney spoke of strong momentum in Britain’s economy and described a slowdown at the start of the year as merely a blip.

Jul 16, 2015

Rate hike decision to come into ‘sharper relief’ by year’s end: BoE’s Carney

LONDON (Reuters) – Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said on Thursday the decision to raise interest rates from record lows would come into “sharper relief” around the end of this year as inflationary pressures become clearer.

Carney reiterated that any rise in the benchmark interest rate from its current 0.5 percent would be gradual and to levels about half as high as historical averages of around 4.5 percent.