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Governor King’s Inflation Report press conference will provide a timely update on how the Bank of England is viewing current financial market developments. The Inflation Report itself will contain medium-term forecasts for the economy. Lloyds TSB have argued that the Bank’s growth forecasts appear too optimistic and its central case is likely to be revised down from just under 2% this year and 2½% next. This is particularly true with the apparent materialisation of downside risks from the Eurozone. Lloyds TSB would also expect to see an associated softening in next year’s inflation outlook (although for 2011 should remain broadly unchanged) despite a boost from lower market rates that the Bank uses to condition these projections. Yet these forecasts still look likely to suggest a set of economic conditions very different from those that led the Bank to ease monetary policy to its historic lows. Nevertheless, with global financial markets threatening to reverse developed economies recoveries, the MPC’s discussions will be dominated by assessments of how much damage the current financial turmoil will wreak on the real economy. This week’s trade release will gauge the ongoing pace of rebalancing in the economy. May saw the deficit widen with trade (including services) breaching the £4.0bn mark for the first time this year. Much of this reflected a jump in imports that Lloyds TSB expect to reverse in June. Accordingly Lloyds TSB forecast the deficit narrowing to £3.8bn. However, Q2 looks unlikely to provide further evidence of an export led recovery. Export volumes look likely to have fallen in Q2 and net trade should have detracted from growth. As with the wider economy, one-off factors affected Q2. But with global economic activity seemingly slowing, export prospects have weakened.
The final release of the quarter is always somewhat historical, with preliminary estimates inferred from the GDP release. Official estimates for manufacturing that recorded a 0.3% contraction in Q2, consistent with a 0.2% rise in June. However, Lloyds TSB suspect that oil production staged a bigger rebound in June than assumed, something that would lead to a 0.6% rise in the wider industrial measure and result in a 1.3% quarterly decline (1.4% estimated). This will have little impact on Q2 GDP, but would provide some support for the expected rebound in oil in Q3. Given market developments, focus has now shifted to the likely pace of Q3 expansion.
Written by Ashley Ingle - Excel Currencies
August 8, 2011 at 10:57 AM
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