Monetary policy, inflation in The Monday Briefing

Summer reading list


This summer holiday season will be like no other. Nonetheless, as we have done for the last 11 years, the end of July marks the launch of our summer reading list. The six articles aim to offer a stimulating read during quiet times on holiday, at home or maybe in the garden. All are available free and online.

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Posted on 27/07/2020

‘V-shaped’ recovery hopes fade


The big data event for economists in the UK last week was the release of May GDP numbers. After a record 27% contraction in March and April, the easing of the lockdown from May was expected to generate a strong bounce in activity. The outcome, a disappointing 1.8% increase in GDP, has dented hopes of a swift, ‘V-shaped’ recovery.

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Posted on 20/07/2020

Debt and taxes


The government response to COVID-19 has involved vast, debt-financed increases in public expenditure. The spending has been on a far greater scale than during the financial crisis. With interest rates close to zero fiscal policy is firmly in the driving seat.

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Posted on 13/07/2020

Climate: the next great challenge


The COVID-19 crisis has collapsed global economic activity, and with it, greenhouse gas emissions. The pandemic has brought cleaner air and skies across the world’s cities, but it also offers a glimpse of the scale of changes needed to mitigate the worst impacts of climate change.

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Posted on 06/07/2020

Where’s the financial stress?


The speed and severity of the economic downturn has been far greater than the last recession, in 2008–09. The 0.1% contraction in the global economy in 2009 now looks like a pinprick by comparison with the International Monetary Fund’s forecast that world GDP will shrink by almost 5% this year.

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Posted on 29/06/2020

Approaching the Brexit endgame


COVID-19 has monopolised the business headlines for the last three months. But now, with the negotiations stepping up a gear and the transition set to end by December, Brexit is moving back into the limelight.

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Posted on 22/06/2020

Is it time for negative interest rates?


Data released on Friday showed that the UK economy contracted by more than 26% in March and April as the lockdown collapsed activity. The governor of the Bank of England (BoE), Andrew Bailey, responded by saying that the Bank stood “ready to take action” to help the economy as it emerges from the lockdown. This week we consider whether the time has come for the Bank to deploy the big gun in its arsenal, negative interest rates.

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Posted on 15/06/2020

Growth: Stirring not bouncing


As the lockdown eases the global economy is starting to come back to life. Last week’s better than expected US jobs numbers, and a surge in private sector activity in China, reinforced the view in equity markets that the worst is past. On Friday the US S&P500 equity index closed up almost 40% on its March lows.

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Posted on 08/06/2020

Inflation in the post-COVID era


Governments in the West are spending and borrowing on a vast scale as they counter the effects of the pandemic. With investors eager to hold ‘safe’ assets, and central banks buying up bonds through quantitative easing (QE), there is no shortage of demand for government debt.

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Posted on 26/05/2020

The outlook for UK growth


Last week’s UK GDP data underscored the scale of the economic damage wrought by the COVID-19 lockdown. The economy contracted by 2% in the first quarter of 2020, the sharpest quarterly contraction since the 2008 financial crisis.

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Posted on 18/05/2020