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Search resuls for: "William Schomberg"

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In both the United States and Europe, the words of central bankers led investors to cut their estimates of the peak or "terminal" rate expected in the current tightening cycle. With financial conditions loosening despite rising policy rates, "central banks resolute in their fight against inflation and ensure policy remains appropriately tight long enough to durably bring inflation back to target," Adrian and others wrote. The European Central Bank seems furthest from a likely stopping point. Combined, the statements mark the start of the endgame for central banks that were slow to recognize the onset of inflation last year before engaging in a record-setting round of rate increases. Central bankers long ago stopped using the word "transitory" in reference to inflation that proved faster and more persistent than any expected.
Softening their forecasts of recession this year, the BoE's nine interest rate-setters voted 7-2 to increase Bank Rate to 4.0% - its highest since 2008 - from 3.5%. The European Central Bank looks set to raise rates by a half a percentage point later on Thursday to 2.5%. Previously the BoE had forecast 2023 inflation at around 5%. Previously the BoE has said that "it will respond forcefully, as necessary" to signs of further inflation pressure, and "further increases in Bank Rate may be required". As a result, the BoE saw Britain's economy still below its pre-pandemic size until after 2025, representing seven lost years for growth.
Softening their forecasts of recession this year, the BoE's nine interest rate-setters voted 7-2 to increase Bank Rate to 4.0% - its highest since 2008 - from 3.5%. The announcement comes a day after the U.S. Federal Reserve slowed the pace of its rate hikes with a smaller quarter-point move, but said it expected further increases would be needed. The European Central Bank raised rates by a half a percentage point on Thursday to 2.5%. They said further interest rate hikes would hinge on evidence of more persistent price pressures appearing. That represented a signal to investors that its sharp run of rate hikes might be coming to an end.
The European Central Bank looks set to raise rates by a half a percentage point on Thursday to 2.5% and the main question for investors is how much more tightening it will signal. LOWER RATES PEAKAs of Wednesday, investors were pricing a roughly two-in-three chance that BoE rates will peak at 4.5% by June, with the possibility of an earlier halt at 4.25%. The BoE's inflation forecasts are also likely to change with recent sharp falls in international gas prices and a rise in the value of sterling lowering inflation later this year. The BoE is also due to update its estimate of the rate of unemployment that does not push up inflation. A rise in the non-accelerating inflation rate of unemployment would represent a lower speed limit on Britain's already slow economy.
On Wednesday, about 300,000 teachers will take action, along with 100,000 civil servants from more than 120 government departments, and tens of thousands of university lecturers and rail workers. 'MOST DAYS LOST FOR 30 YEARS'Between June and November, more days were lost to industrial action than in any six months for over 30 years, according to official data. An Ipsos poll released on Wednesday suggested the public was divided on the multiple strike action, with 40% supporting the action and 38% opposed. It put the estimated impact of the teachers' strikes at about 20 million pounds a day. ($1 = 0.8130 pound)Reporting by Michael Holden, Alistair Smout and William Schomberg; editing by Jonathan OatisOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
[1/2] People shop next to the clubcard price branding inside a branch of a Tesco Extra Supermarket in London, Britain, February 10, 2022. Overall food prices, which include longer-life goods, rose by 13.8%, while non-food prices were 5.1% higher. BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson said she did not think shop prices had peaked yet, as retailers were still facing rising energy bills and labour shortages. The BRC collected its price data between Jan. 1 and Jan. 7. Figures released by market research company Kantar on Tuesday , which covered the four weeks to Jan. 22, showed annual grocery price inflation of 16.7%.
REUTERS/Henry NichollsLONDON, Jan 31 (Reuters) - Britain is the only Group of Seven nation to have suffered a cut to its 2023 economic growth outlook in International Monetary Fund forecasts published on Tuesday, adding to pressure on finance minister Jeremy Hunt to come up with a growth plan. Britain's flagging economy now looks set to shrink by 0.6% this year, a sharp downgrade from previously expected growth of 0.3% in the IMF's last forecast in October. All other G7 economies are predicted to grow this year, mostly at a stronger pace than the IMF forecast three months ago. Responding to the IMF report, Hunt said nearly all advanced economies were facing headwinds, and that past forecasts from a range of bodies including the IMF had proven too gloomy about Britain's prospects. Hunt is due to announce measures that he hopes will speed up growth in a budget statement on March 15.
[1/2] A 'no entry' sign is seen near the Stormont Parliament Buildings in Belfast, Northern Ireland June 13, 2022. The EU has accepted a plan that would avoid the need for routine checks on products going into Northern Ireland, the newspaper reported on Tuesday. Both sides were also hammering out details of a veterinary checks deal, The Times said. A UK government spokesperson said its priority is to protect the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement and to preserve political stability in Northern Ireland and the UK internal market. After months of tensions between London, Brussels, Belfast and Dublin, progress has recently been made in the dispute over the Northern Ireland Protocol.
Three years on, Britain still waits for Brexit dividend
  + stars: | 2023-01-30 | by ( Andy Bruce | )   time to read: +6 min
Britain exited the EU on Jan. 31, 2020, though remained in the bloc's single market and customs union for 11 more months. The government, led by Brexit-supporting Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, says Britain is prospering with new-found freedoms. "Our problems pre-date Brexit," Lyons said, pointing to chronically low rates of investment in Britain. Exports, especially in goods, have disappointed over the last three years - despite high hopes for a "Global Britain" rebalancing of the economy after Brexit. Britain still boasts higher rates of employment and lower unemployment than most EU countries but there are some signs that Brexit may have impacted the labour market too.
By announcing an inflation goal, central bankers feel they build credibility for themselves and focus the planning of households and firms in ways that help keep inflation controlled. Those decades, up to the end of the first year of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, saw inflation largely contained. Achieving that target is just core to our overall monetary policy," Brainard said, a sentiment echoed in central bank headquarters from Frankfurt to London to Tokyo. "Let me be quite clear, there are no ifs or buts in our commitment to the 2% inflation target," Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey said last year. Should inflation prove stickier than expected, achieving the central bank's 2% inflation goal could mean even more losses.
LONDON, Jan 27 (Reuters) - Britain's finance ministry said on Friday that the Energy Markets Financing Scheme - which it launched last year with the Bank of England to help energy firms cope with surging power prices - had received no applications and had closed. "Since the launch of the scheme, prices in the wholesale gas markets have declined markedly and this has reduced some of the pressure facing eligible energy firms," the Treasury said. The ministry and the BoE would continue to monitor developments in energy markets, it said in a statement. The programme was open for applications between Oct. 17 and Jan. 27. Writing by William Schomberg; editing by David MillikenOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
LONDON, Jan 26 (Reuters) - British retail sales volumes slid over the last month at the fastest rate since April last year, underlining the weak state of the consumer economy in the face of strong inflation, a survey showed on Thursday. The Confederation of British Industry's (CBI) sales balance, which included a couple of days of the Christmas trading period, fell to -23 from +11 in December's report, meaning more store chains reported a drop in retail sales than a rise. The survey pointed to another drop in retail sales next month. "Retailers began the new year with a return to falling sales volumes, as the sector continues to face the twin headwinds of rising costs and squeezed household incomes," CBI Martin Sartorius said. The survey of 59 retailers - mostly large store chains - was conducted between Dec. 22 and Jan. 13.
UK's Hunt pledges to boost growth but won't budge on tax hikes
  + stars: | 2023-01-26 | by ( )   time to read: +2 min
[1/2] British Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt leaves his house in London, Britain, November 16, 2022. REUTERS/Toby MelvilleLONDON, Jan 26 (Reuters) - British finance minister Jeremy Hunt will promise on Friday to tackle the country's weak productivity with post-Brexit finance reforms to boost growth, but he will also stick to the tax rises that have angered some lawmakers in his Conservative Party. Hunt, who steadied financial markets after the turmoil of former Prime Minister Liz Truss' "mini-budget" in September last year, is preparing to announce a plan for growth in a budget statement in March. The Telegraph newspaper said Hunt would reject calls from some Conservative lawmakers to bring forward tax cuts as a way to spur growth. Earlier on Thursday, Hunt told fellow ministers that he had to stick to the fiscal discipline he outlined in November in order to help reduce inflation which is running above 10%, according to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's office.
UK factories cut prices, helping BoE's inflation fight
  + stars: | 2023-01-25 | by ( )   time to read: +2 min
Output prices fell by 0.8% in December from November, the Office for National Statistics said on Wednesday. Economists polled by Reuters had expected producer output prices to rise by 0.3% on a monthly basis, and for input prices to fall by 0.6% month-on-month. Britain's main inflation measure - the consumer prices index - fell in November and December but at 10.5% it is more than five times the BoE's target. The ONS producer price inflation data for November and December was published later than unusual after the statistics office detected problems with the prices data it uses. In November, output prices fell by a monthly 0.1% and rose by an annual 16.2% while input prices in November fell by 0.2% and rose by 18.0% respectively, the ONS said.
The fall contrasted with a slight rise in business activity in the euro zone. "Weaker-than-expected PMI numbers in January underscore the risk of the UK slipping into recession," S&P Global's Chief Business Economist, Chris Williamson, said. However, a widely expected fall in output this year will weigh on the BoE's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) as it considers how much further to raise interest rates on Feb. 2. Tuesday's PMI data showed that prices charged by businesses rose at the slowest rate since August 2021, although the increase was still steep by historic standards. Businesses cut a small number of jobs, in contrast to the rapid hiring through much of 2021 and 2022.
UK employers urge Sunak to act urgently on growth reforms
  + stars: | 2023-01-23 | by ( )   time to read: +2 min
Confederation of British Industry Director-General Tony Danker praised Sunak for defusing the mini-budget crisis of former leader Liz Truss last year but said he was not matching the growth reforms of the United States and the European Union. Finance minister Jeremy Hunt is expected to announce pro-growth measures in a budget statement in March. But Danker feared the government might temper its reforms as an election, expected in 2024, approaches. Those reforms should include big changes to welfare and childcare to get people back into work, even if they put further strain on Britain's already stretched public finances. Writing by William Schomberg; Editing by Susan FentonOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
UK's National Grid asks for 3 coal generators to be warmed
  + stars: | 2023-01-22 | by ( )   time to read: 1 min
Companies National Grid PLC FollowLONDON, Jan 22 (Reuters) - Britain's National Grid (NG.L) said on Sunday it had asked for three coal-powered generators to be warmed up in case they are needed as the country faces a snap of cold weather. "This notification is not confirmation that these units will be used on Monday, but that they will be available to the ESO (Electricity System Operator), if required," National Grid said. Coal-powered generators were last put on stand-by in December when temperatures dropped and demand for energy rose, but they were not needed on that occasion. Reporting by William Schomberg Editing by Tomasz JanowskiOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
REUTERS/Phil NobleCompanies National Grid PLC FollowLONDON, Jan 22 (Reuters) - Britain's National Grid (NG.L) said it would pay customers to use less power on Monday evening and that it had asked for three coal-powered generators to be warmed up in case they are needed as the country faces a snap of cold weather. The group said that it would activate a new scheme called the Demand Flexibility Service where customers get incentives if they agree to use less power during crunch periods. "This does not mean electricity supplies are at risk and people should not be worried," the National Grid said. The announcement about the coal-powered generators did not mean they would definitely be used, it said in a separate statement. Coal-powered generators were last put on stand-by in December when temperatures dropped and demand for energy rose, but they were not needed on that occasion.
UK shoppers cut back on spending as inflation takes its toll
  + stars: | 2023-01-20 | by ( )   time to read: +1 min
LONDON, Jan 20 (Reuters) - Inflation-pinched British shoppers unexpectedly cut their spending in December, official data showed on Friday, dashing hopes for a Christmas shopping boost for the country's flagging retail sector. Retail sales volumes fell by 1% in December from November, the Office for National Statistics said. A Reuters poll of economists had pointed to a 0.5% monthly rise in sales in the key Christmas month. "Retail sales dropped again in December with feedback suggesting consumers cut back on their Christmas shopping due to affordability concerns," Heather Bovill, the ONS's deputy director for surveys and economic indicators, said. In terms of value, spending was down by a month-on-month 1.2% from November.
UK lenders expect further widening of mortgage spreads: BoE
  + stars: | 2023-01-19 | by ( )   time to read: 1 min
LONDON, Jan 19 (Reuters) - British lenders surveyed in late November and early December predicted a further widening in mortgage lending spreads in the three months to the end of February, according to a Bank of England survey released on Thursday. The BoE's quarterly Credit Conditions Survey also showed lenders expected the availability of mortgages, consumer loans and corporate credit to decrease in the December-February period, and for loan defaults to rise. The BoE conducted the survey between Nov. 21 and Dec. 9. Reporting by David Milliken Editing by William SchombergOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
BoE's Bailey sees more optimism about inflation falling
  + stars: | 2023-01-19 | by ( )   time to read: +2 min
LONDON, Jan 19 (Reuters) - Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey said there was now more optimism about the prospects for inflation falling this year, and noted that the central bank had not pushed back against market expectations for interest rates to peak at 4.5%. Asked about the outlook for inflation by Wales's Western Mail newspaper, Bailey said: "There is more optimism now that we are sort of going to get through the next year with an easier path there." Bailey said the central bank did not target a peak for interest rates, but noted that markets were now expecting BoE rates to rise no higher than around 4.5%, lower than before. In November, the BoE forecast inflation would fall to 5.2% by late 2023, and the Western Mail said Bailey was sticking to that view. Bailey also said he continued to expect Britain would see a recession, albeit "a shallow one by historic standards".
UK pay growth speeds up again as BoE frets about inflation
  + stars: | 2023-01-17 | by ( )   time to read: +2 min
Economists polled by Reuters had expected total pay and the ex-bonuses measure to rise by 6.2% and 6.3% respectively. The Bank of England is worried that the acceleration in pay growth will make Britain's high inflation rate - currently running above 10% - harder to bring down. Financial markets were mostly pricing in a half percentage-point hike in Bank Rate to 4.0% on Feb. 2 but they pointed to a more than one-in-three chance of a smaller 25 basis-point increase. Sterling rose after Tuesday's data and was up by 0.1% on the day against the U.S. dollar and the euro. Private-sector total pay rose by an annual 7.1% in the three months to November compared with 3.3% in the public sector, the ONS said.
LONDON, Jan 16 (Reuters) - Britain's proposed changes to capital rules for insurers could lead to the government having to bail out policyholders, as happened 20 years ago after the near-collapse of life assurance company Equitable Life, the Bank of England said on Monday. "I will mention Equitable Life ... it can happen," Bailey added . Equitable Life, established in 1762, closed to new customers in 2000 and almost collapsed after making unsustainable guarantees to policyholders. The government, however, had made its decision on insurance reform and there was a need to move forward now, Woods said. The BoE wanted to be "very closely engaged" on the detail of those reforms, Woods said.
LONDON, Jan 16 (Reuters) - Asking prices for British homes rose for the first time in two months as the housing market showed signs of calming after the turmoil triggered by former prime minister Liz Truss's "mini-budget", property website Rightmove (RMV.L) said on Monday. Asking prices for residential properties increased by 0.9%, or 3,301 pounds ($4,032.50) in the Dec. 4-Jan. 7 period from a month earlier, after a 2.1% fall over the previous month, Rightmove said. However, average asking prices were still 2% below their October 2022 peak. Two- and five-year fixed rates have fallen for a second month to 5.8% and 5.6% respectively, according to data from website Moneyfacts. In annual terms, property prices rose 6.3% in January, up from a rise of 5.6% the month before.
Pessimism among UK consumers perks up as inflation peaks - poll
  + stars: | 2023-01-12 | by ( )   time to read: +1 min
LONDON, Jan 12 (Reuters) - British consumers turned a little bit less pessimistic in December as inflation started to fall back from historic highs, a survey published on Thursday showed. Polling firm YouGov and consultancy Cebr said their overall consumer confidence index rose by 1 point from November although at 95.9 it remained stuck in negative territory. The survey showed consumers were worried about the loss of value of their homes but they were more confident about the outlook for their finances. Britain's inflation rate hit a 41-year high of 11.1% in October but eased off to 10.7% in November. A separate survey of consumer confidence conducted by polling firm GfK last month also showed a slight increase in optimism in December but figures published earlier this week showed consumer spending lagged inflation.
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