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  • Publication Date: 08-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Economics
  • Abstract: Since the US Federal Reserve signalled that a turn in the interest rate cycle may be on the horizon, UK and to a lesser extent Eurozone interest rates have tracked US rates higher. But the UK and Eurozone economies are less well placed than the US to cope with higher interest rates. Simulations carried out on our Global Economic Model show that higher rates would be particularly harmful to the UK economy's embryonic recovery. In an attempt to stem the rise in interest rates, the Bank of England and the ECB have introduce forward guidance but with little, if any, success. Markets do not seem convinced by the Bank of England's commitment to forward guidance and are testing its resolve. It seems likely that over time both central banks may have to strengthen their forward guidance, in the case of the Bank of England by augmenting it with further quantitative easing.
  • Topic: Economics, Markets, Monetary Policy, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: United States, United Kingdom, Europe
  • Publication Date: 07-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Economics
  • Abstract: Mario Draghi's commitment a year ago to do “whatever it takes” to save the euro looks to have been an important turning point in the Eurozone crisis. Systemic risk has fallen, the euro has strengthened, spreads on peripheral debt have narrowed and bond and equity markets have become less sensitive to bad Eurozone news flow. Indeed, to date markets seem to have taken Draghi at his word and seem unwilling to test his resolve. But although confidence in the outlook for the Eurozone among investors has risen over the past year, the real economy is yet to emerge from recession. We continue to expect this to happen in the second half of this year, a view supported by this week's improvement in the PMI data. However, unless action is taken to reduce borrowing costs paid by households and companies in the peripheral economies, the recovery will be anaemic. With that in mind, the ECB's announcement that it will ease its collateral rules only marginally is disappointing.
  • Topic: Economics, Markets, Monetary Policy, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Publication Date: 06-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Economics
  • Abstract: Comments from the US Federal Reserve aimed at signalling that monetary policy cannot stay at historically low levels indefinitely have caused bond yields and credit spreads to rise both in the US and abroad. Higher borrowing rates are particularly inappropriate for the Eurozone which, unlike the US, is still struggling to emerge from recession. This tightening of financial conditions will place pressure on the ECB to act. Although surveys show that investors' bearishness on US government bonds is at an extreme level, suggesting that in the coming weeks bond yields are more likely to fall than rise, the longer-term trend in bond yields is now upwards. But we do not expect the rise in yields over the next two or three years to kill off the US recovery. Consequently, we believe that the US equity market is still on an upward uptrend, albeit one that will experience regular spikes in volatility as the Fed gradually moves away from its ultra-loose policy.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Monetary Policy, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Publication Date: 06-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Economics
  • Abstract: The housing market is recovering, according to recent price and activity data. Post-crisis price corrections were smaller in the UK than in the US and much of Europe, and demand is now being bolstered by the government's Funding for Lending and Help to Buy schemes. This has given rise to some worries that the UK is in danger of inflating another house price bubble. While housing supply is very tight, we are not convinced that these schemes will have enough impact on demand to cause prices to take off.
  • Topic: Economics, Markets, Monetary Policy, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: United States, United Kingdom, Europe
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Economics
  • Abstract: After protracted negotiations, Eurozone leaders finally agreed on a new package of measures last week. The outline deal has a three-pronged approach aimed at tackling the main aspects of the crisis: reducing Greece's debt burden, avoiding a credit crunch by recapitalising European banks, and preventing contagion to other countries via a boost to the EFSF.
  • Topic: Debt, Economics, Markets, Regional Cooperation, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe, Greece
  • Publication Date: 12-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Economics
  • Abstract: Germany appears to be slipping deeper into recession. The latest industrial figures are alarming: production fell 2.1% in October and orders were down 17.3%. If output remained at current levels to year-end, then Q4 would be down 3.2% on Q3, but the situation is deteriorating. The manufacturing PMI is below 40 and the expectations component of the Ifo is at its lowest level since the first oil crisis in the early 1970s. Key to the rapid decline has been an abrupt halt to investment, both in Germany and globally. Investment in machinery and equipment had stalled in Q3 and domestic orders of capital goods then dropped 6% in both October and November. Business investment will fall by over 4% in 2009. But exports have also seen a rapid decline, having fallen in both Q2 and Q3, while export expectations are near all-time lows. Export volumes are expected to drop next year, despite the depreciation of the euro. We have slashed our growth forecasts, with GDP now likely to fall by at least 1% in Q4. And we now do not expect the economy to emerge from recession until 2009H2 and for the economy to shrink by over 2% in 2009 overall – the biggest drop in over 60 years. Rapidly declining oil prices and an extended recession mean inflation could fall close to zero by next summer. Inflation has already slowed to 1.4% in November from a peak of 3.1% in July.
  • Topic: Economics, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe, Germany