Contribution to FT’s annual UK economic survey

Phil was one of almost 100 economists and analysts asked to submit their answers to three questions about the outlook for the UK economy in 2022. The questions and (edited) answers were:

1. Will the UK economy outpace or lag behind other developed economies in 2022 and why? “Lag behind. In 2022 (as in 2020) economic performance will be driven by the response to the next evolutions of the coronavirus pandemic and by the endogenous state of the economy. At the turn of the year, the reaction function appears damaged with politicians contradicting scientists and politicians with the ruling party disagreeing with others, quite fundamentally. .”

2.To what extent will the Bank of England be in control of inflation by the end of 2022? ” In control. Inflation will peak in the spring following the restoration of the VAT rate for the hospitality sector and another big rise in the energy price cap.”

3.  To what extent will the UK look like a high wage, high productivity economy at the end of 2022 — and will people feel better or worse off than they do now? ” People will feel worse off, certainly by the middle of the year as inflation continues to rise, energy prices rise, and incomes flatline amid little evidence of pay rises responding to higher prices. The second half may see an improvement and the data for living standards may be better year-on-year in Dec 2022 but it is unclear whether consumers will actually register that. .”

The full responses are here.

Contribution to FT’s annual UK economic survey

Phil was one of 85 economists and analysts asked to submit their answers to four questions about the outlook for the UK economy in 2020. The five questions and (edited) answers were:

1. Will the UK see a ‘Boris bounce’ in growth in 2020, and how long will any improvement last? “No. The stock market may be going gangbusters but real economic activity will be constrained by continued uncertainty over Brexit.”

2. To what extent will fiscal stimulus support the economy in 2020 and beyond? “To some extent. The previous Johnson government announced £11.7bn in current spending for public services but the manifesto added just £2.3bn by 2024. By definition, that will add some fiscal stimulus (and is a welcome change from austerity) but it is not the game-changer envisaged by Labour.

3. Will households feel better or worse off at the end of 2020? “With economic activity not likely to soar and productivity growth remaining weak, that seems unlikely. The raising of the NI threshold to £9,500 amounts to about £2 a week but that’s hardly going to make a huge difference.”

4. What should the new Bank of England governor change in the conduct of monetary policy? “Not much is likely to change in the first half of the year while the new governor gets his or her feet under the desk.”

The full responses are here

Contributing to FT’s 2015 UK economics poll

We were asked by the Financial Times to provide out answers to a number of key questions facing the UK economy in 2015. As in the past few years the FT was looking for subjective opinions and views rather than point forecasts.

The overarching article, which featured a poll of several leading economists and financial analysts, found that most expected the UK recovery to strengthen this year. Of 90 economists surveyed, 77 thought that decent expansion rates would endure another year with only 10 expecting a slowdown to a “disappointing pace of growth”.

Our comments on the main issues on economic growth can be found at the bottom of the article.