UK inflation is about to take off – but by how much?

September 1, 2016

Lurking beneath the surprisingly strong rebound in manufacturing shown by the latest Markit/CIPS PMI, there were clear signs that inflation is about to shoot higher –and perhaps in a big way.

Valentine’s Day disappoints after Star Wars surge

March 2, 2016

By Lindsay Dunsmuir

The Fed’s Beige Book, a compendium of anecdotes from business contacts across the U.S. central bank’s 12 regional districts, is not known for tickling detail.  But it seems one regional Fed district – Boston to be precise – is paving the way in bringing a bit of relatable life to the usually dour document. In January’s report it pointed out that a toy company in its district reported strong sales “largely driven by the new Star Wars movie.” This time, it seems that all that movie-related spending has left locals with little money to spend on love. “Sales of Valentine’s Day items usually spike a few days before the holiday, but this year sales were lackluster,” the Boston Fed reported. Next time around, will we find out that children were deprived of their chocolate Easter bunnies? It’s anyone’s guess, but it seems like the researchers in Boston are minded to let us know.

Beware the cracks appearing in British consumer sentiment

February 26, 2016

GfK consumer confidence

A slight tremor rumbled through a key pillar of British economic growth – household spending – as consumer confidence slipped this month to its lowest level since December 2014.

EU vote casts shadow over Britain as 2016 kicks off

January 8, 2016

At this stage, it is hard to quantify how a planned referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union is impacting investor sentiment and the outlook for business investment. But there is little doubt it will influence the timing of the Bank of England’s first interest rate hike in nearly a decade and how sterling trades this year.

No sign of economy rebalancing in latest China PMIs

January 6, 2016

China's Huang Qiushuang performs on the balance beam during the women's gymnastics team final in the North Greenwich Arena at the London 2012 Olympic Games July 31, 2012.   REUTERS/Mark Blinch (BRITAIN  - Tags: SPORT OLYMPICS SPORT GYMNASTICS)   - RTR35RC6

Chinese manufacturing has been in the dumps for a long while. But that was supposed to be offset by a government-induced shift in the economy toward domestic consumption, which underpins Beijing’s optimistic outlook for growth this year.

Molto bene! Stand-out performance for Italian manufacturing vs rest of Europe

January 4, 2016

European stock markets may have had a rough start to 2016, but the first major European data releases of the year, covering momentum in manufacturing at the end of 2015, have been particularly good by recent standards.

Fed’s Williams preps new Tee-shirt after rate hike

December 18, 2015

San Francisco Federal Reserve President John Williams earlier this year got so sick of answering reporters’ questions about when the U.S. central bank would raise rates that he had his son design a Tee-shirt that he could just give out.

Wayward guidance: More Britons than ever don’t know where rates are headed

December 11, 2015

So much for forward guidance. The largest proportion of Britons on record — almost a quarter — have “no idea” where interest rates are heading over the next 12 months, according to the Bank of England’s quarterly survey of the public’s views on the economy.

With such similar inflation, how far behind the Fed can the BoE be?

November 18, 2015

RTR4OY3Z.jpgNot long ago, the big debate was over who would raise rates first, the U.S. Federal Reserve or the Bank of England. Now with the Fed giving clear signals it’s on the brink of hiking and the BoE appearing to be pushing that day further off into the future, one could naturally conclude that the inflation outlook in both economies is vastly different.

U.S. growth probably slowed sharply in Q3…and winter is coming

October 29, 2015

RTR4U8M1.jpgIt’s probably a good thing the Federal Reserve concluded its latest policy meeting with a strong signal of its intentions, because GDP growth data expected later on Thursday are unlikely to cement rate hike views one way or another.