Sterling

The Confederation of British Industry’s (CBI) has reported today that retail sales growth remains steady, with the sixth consecutive month of growth. According to the Quarterly Distributive Trades Survey, the growth was at a slightly slower pace in May compared with the previous month. The release from the CBI noted that department stores’ volumes had declined compared with a year ago, which was replaced with strong performance in internet sales. The high-street continues to be u…

Continue Reading →

The Office for National Statics (ONS) released their second estimate for the first quarter of the year’s economic growth in the UK at 9:30 this morning. The estimate was in-line with their first estimate at 0.8%, and was the fifth consecutive increase. This is a positive release for the UK economy following yesterdays, impressive retail sales figures. According to the ONS: "This is the longest period of continuous growth since the 2008-09 downturn and GDP now stands at 0.6%…

Continue Reading →

The Bank of England Minutes of the MPC meeting for the 7th and 8th of May were released at 9:30am today. The MPC voted 9 – 0 to leave interest rates unchanged at 0.50% and asset purchases on hold at £375bn. The minutes were more hawkish than previous, with the first hint of a change in tone. The key line in the release: The Committee would continue to refine its views as the economy evolved, and for some members the monetary policy decision was becoming more balanced.…

Continue Reading →

CPI data released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) this morning, was slightly higher than expected, and up on March. The release for April was 1.8%, with the expectations of 1.7% versus March’s 1.6%. This is still below the Bank of England’s 2% inflation target, but it was the first increase of inflation in 10 months. The ONS noted that the increase was primarily attributed to transport costs; notably air fares, sea fares and motor fuels. The release also highlig…

Continue Reading →

The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) released their inflation report for May 2014. The dovish tone of the pre-prepared text, led to sterling trading new session lows in the FX market, as the optimism for an interest rate hike in the near term was dampened as Carney attempted to lower expectations. The BoE left their forecasts for both inflation and growth almost unchanged from the previous release, reinforcing the expectation for a rate hike will not be until 2015.…

Continue Reading →

The Bank of England has the enviable position that the UK economy is growing and needs to time the exit of ultra-loose monetary policy. Interest rates have been at the record low (0.50%) for over 5 years, and the economy is in recovery mode. The majority of economists are pencilling in a rate rise for Q1/2 in 2015. How is the economy doing? Economic growth: 3% for 2014 and 2.4% in 2015 (Confederation of British Industries) 2.9% for 2014 and 2.7% in 201…

Continue Reading →

The Markit/CIPS UK Manufacturing PMI for April released at 9:30am beat analysts expectations with a print of 57.3 for April vs 55.8 March. The manufacturing index rose to a 5 month high, registering one of the best readings over the last 3 years. This is a significant boost to the UK government, as the economic recovery begins to really take hold, though this puts further pressure on the Bank of England. Carney reiterated that increasing interest rates would happen when the slac…

Continue Reading →

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has released its first estimate for UK growth for the last 3 months at 0.8% slightly below analysts’ expectations of 0.9% for the quarter. The UK economy has grown by 3.1% over the last year, the ONS says. That's the strongest year-on-year change in GDP since the Q4 of 2007, after the near-collapse of Northern Rock.Though the figure is "disappointing” compared to expectations the key point to remember is that is shows the economy…

Continue Reading →

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) released their March statistics for UK retail sales. The volume of sales edged up by 0.1% compared to February, a marginal improvement though the year-on-year figures were significantly higher, up 4.2% compared with March 2013. This difference has in part been attributed to the freezing cold weather that was experienced last year, which hampered sales. The headline for the release is that that the Non-Food stores saw the highest YoY increase (+9…

Continue Reading →

The Bank of England released the minutes of the Monetary Policy Committee meeting for the 9th April this morning. The MPC voted unanimously (9-0) to leave interest rates at the record low level of 0.50% and the level of asset purchases unchanged at £375bn. Following the release in the FX markets sterling has been choppy as some would have hoped that a member of the MPC might have voted for a raise in rates. Cable is trading at a 5 year high with traders betting on the economic gr…

Continue Reading →

The Office for National Statistics released the ILO Unemployment rate for the 3-months to February, which dropped to 6.9% from the previous reading of 7.1%. Employment was 239,000 higher than for September to November 2013 and 691,000 higher than a year earlier (ONS). The release shows a significant improvement in the unemployment rate, and poses a headache for the Bank of England. Mark Carney detailed under his forward guidance that the threshold for increasing interest rates would be the u…

Continue Reading →

The Office for National Statistics released inflation data for March this morning, showing that the Consumer Price Index (CPI) had fallen since February; 1.7% to 1.6%. The may contributors to this fall were from the costs of transport and food, with a small impact from clothing and household goods. The full ONS CPI release for March The Retail Price Index (RPI) grew by 2.5% in the year ending Mach 2014, down from 2.7% in February. The macro release should be a positive for…

Continue Reading →

The Bank of England has left interest rates at the record low of 0.50% to help stimulate the economy, following the financial crisis. There has been significant coverage in the media over the concerns of a new bubble emerging in property prices, specifically in London. The UK economy is beginning to fire on all cylinders (though unevenly) the focus is on the timing of the Bank of England’s raising of interest rates. The latest release from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyo…

Continue Reading →

The UK economy is growing, and recently releases of macros data have beaten economists’ expectations: According the Office for National Statistics (ONS), UK industrial output has surged significantly above economists’ expectations; production increased 0.9% in February, compared to January with expectations of a +0.3% increase. The better than expected data, gave sterling a bid in FX markets, surging to above 1.6700 to trade at session highs. The British Chamber…

Continue Reading →

The release on Wednesday morning from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed that the number of people in employment has continued to increase. The 3-month unemployment rate for November 2013-January 2014 was 7.2%, just above the Bank of England Forward Guidance 7% threshold announced in August 2013. The full ONS Labour Market Statistics release for March 2014…

Continue Reading →