GDP Ticks Up, Still Flatlining, Recession Still a Possibility

Monthly GDP is estimated by the ONS to have grown by 0.1% in November 2022, which is slightly better than expected. Monthly GDP is now estimated to still be 0.3% below its pre-pandemic levels 3 years later. For the quarter GDP fell by 0.3% in the three months to November 2022. Unless there is a growth spurt the UK is likely to be officially in recession next month…

UPDATE: Sam Miley, Senior Economist at the Centre for Economics and Business Research, comments

“The UK economy unexpectedly grew in November, driven by an expansion in the services sector. Beneath the headline growth, there remains evidence of various headwinds impacting the economy, with a sharp monthly decline in manufacturing output being accompanied by a flatlining construction sector. Despite monthly growth in both October and November, a quarterly contraction in Q4 is still a possibility. In addition to continuing consumer and business pressures, the wave of industrial action witnessed at the end of 2022 will also have a downward effect on December’s GDP figures.”

mdi-timer 13 January 2023 @ 08:27 13 Jan 2023 @ 08:27 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Rishi Appeases the Bond Market Vigilantes, Gilt Yields Down, £ Up

Jeremy Hunt has been re-appointed Chancellor and the bond market vigilantes are pleased. Ten-year gilt rates are back to at 3.6%, exactly where they were before the markets were spooked by the mini-budget, almost a full 1% below their recent highs. Sterling has traded back up as high as 1.15 against the dollar as well.

Now come the difficult choices. Rishi has to decide by how much taxes are going up – and by how much spending is to be held down.

Interest rates will go higher regardless, as central banks seek to contain inflation and undo their monetary mistakes of recent years.

It is often said that a free press is a good constraint on bad government, Guido would add that free capital markets are a good constraint on government spending.

The Labour Party may have enjoyed the recent political benefits of the markets bucking Liz Truss out of her saddle. They should remember that those same bond market vigilantes trust socialists even less…

mdi-timer 25 October 2022 @ 16:15 25 Oct 2022 @ 16:15 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
UK’s Debt Will Still Remain Second Lowest in G7

The gilt market is reacting badly to news that the government will increase the deficit as it cuts taxes across the board. Bond market vigilantes rightly doing what bond market vigilantes do. Important to contextualise that even after Kwasi’s extensive Reaganite package of growth-oriented reforms, the UK’s debt to GDP ratio will remain at the lower end of the G7. It is worth putting this into an international context…

mdi-timer 23 September 2022 @ 12:17 23 Sep 2022 @ 12:17 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Financiers Launch Funds to Track Politicians’ Trades

Investors could soon have the chance to capitalise on the inside knowledge of US politicians, as two ETFs are set to launch. The two funds, dubbed NANC and KRUZ in honour of Nancy Pelosi and Ted Cruz, track the trades of Democrat and Republican politicians respectively. The investment opportunity is only made possible by the failure of US lawmakers to pass bipartisan reforms to ban congressional trading. No conflict of interest there…

The move comes amidst scrutiny of congressional trading, with over $290 million being spent in 2021, and could prove lucrative considering congressional trades outperformed the market last year. Co-conspirators curious of capital movements on Capitol Hill can also track congressional trades at Capitoltrades. This article does not constitute financial advice…

mdi-timer 20 September 2022 @ 13:56 20 Sep 2022 @ 13:56 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Freeze Shock: Rishi’s Mega Stealth Tax Will Drag 4 Million Lower Rate Taxpayers Into 40% Band

New research out from the Centre for Economics and Business Research’s Douglas McWilliams, calculates that Chancellor Rishi’s freezing of tax allowances and upper rate thresholds in the March 2021 Budget will, as a result of inflation being much higher than forecast, now mean:

“that by the fiscal year 2025/26 the number of people paying tax, which was 32.2 million in 2021/22, could rise by 5 million and perhaps even more damagingly the number of people paying higher rate tax at 40% will virtually double from 4.1 million to 8.1 million. This is a £40 billion tax rise originally planned to raise £8.2 billion.”

This £40 billion will be in addition to the £20 billion to be raised by NI hikes announced as the Health and Social Care Levy. That hike was voted through Parliament. The impact of unexpectedly high inflation on the freezing of allowances and bands was not voted for, yet it will likely double the impact of the higher NI rate. This is Rishi’s mega-stealth-tax…

The Treasury this afternoon argues that the Osborne-era above-inflation threshold rises mean that even with this freeze, taxpayers will still be ahead:

“We’ve got the most generous basic personal tax allowance in the G20 and maintaining the threshold is progressive and will ensure nobody’s take home pay will be less than it is now in cash terms.”

Take-home pay will of course be less in real terms after inflation, in addition millions of former lower rate taxpayers will now be paying tax at 40%. The threshold freeze will also go a long way to reversing the policy of the coalition government, which took 2 million low-paid taxpayers out of the tax net altogether. How the Treasury reckons bringing the lowest paid into the tax net is progressive is not clear. Guido suspects the Chancellor will eventually use the revenue raised from this stealth tax to cut the NI hike back before the general election. Using a massive stealth tax to finance cutting back taxes the Chancellor raised won’t be clever, it will be bribing us with our own money.

mdi-timer 21 February 2022 @ 15:30 21 Feb 2022 @ 15:30 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Debt Up, Spending Up, Tax Revenue Down, Unemployment to Double
  • Public sector net borrowing hit £35.9 billion in August 2020, £30.5 billion more than last month and the third highest borrowing in any month since records began.
  • Tax receipts were £37.3 billion in August 2020, £7.5 billion less than last month, with VAT, Corporation Tax and Income Tax receipts falling considerably.
  • The government spent £78.5 billion on current expenditure in August 2020, £19.5 billion more than in August 2019.
  • Borrowing in the first five months of this financial year (April to August 2020) is estimated to have been £173.7 billion, £146.9 billion more than in the same period last year and the highest borrowing in any April to August period since records began.
  • Each of the months from April to August 2020 were also record months for borrowing.
  • Government debt has hit £2.02 trillion or around 101.9% of GDP; it has risen 12% in just a year.
  • Government debt has tripled since George Osborne warned us that Gordon Brown was bankrupting the country.

To add to the misery, economist Liam Halligan is this morning predicting unemployment will more than double by the end of October…

mdi-timer 25 September 2020 @ 09:47 25 Sep 2020 @ 09:47 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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