Policy and Data Updates

  • The Bank of England signaled it may be preparing to raise interest rates again; some forecasts suggest this could be in May. Doubts about this grows amongst investors following a survey that suggests Britain’s economy slowed sharply in January

  • British house prices grew at higher rates than expected in January, but mortgage lender Nationwide said on Thursday that the effect of Brexit on household finances means there is little sign of a sustained pick-up

  • Stock market turmoil after the Dow suffered its biggest fall in six years and FTSE 100 hits a one-year low, as $4 trillion has been wiped off stocks since last week. It is too early to determine what exactly caused this. Friday’s U.S. employment report suggested wage gains are picking up, potentially boosting inflation, so this could be a factor contributing to the worldwide sell-off. This followed a $1.5 trillion tax cut that was enacted just as the economy expanded an average 3 percent over the last three quarters of 2017.

  • Janet Yellen said on Sunday that she was disappointed Donald Trump did not offer her a second term as chair of the Federal Reserve. The four-year term of the first woman to lead the Fed, with her appointment by Barack Obama, ended on Friday.

  • Theresa May has announced she is committed to taking Britain out of the EU customs union, amid a climate of growing dissent on her backbenches and speculation she could face a leadership challenge over the issue.