May, 30 2017 by lsr team

Christopher Granville explains why there needs to be a Brexit Plan B.
Highlights:
- UK Brexit negotiation process creates economic risk
- The UK government may or may not be able to deliver ‘Plan A’
- Businesses need a credible Plan B before the end of 2017
- Failure to set out the alternative will see investment collapse

September, 30 2016 by lsr team

Events such as Brexit throw a spanner in the works of economic models and analysts are left with a wide range of plausible inputs. At the worst extreme, fear of Brexit becomes self-fulling and weighs on spending decisions, in turn crimping consumers’ style. Over-gloomy estimates prompt businesses to delay expansion plans. Firms make their capital spending projections based on these forecasts and they have not been in short supply. Undoubtedly, capex plans will be adversely affected by the uncertainty hanging over them. While a wide range of business sentiment indicato...

August, 05 2016 by lsr team

In our UK Outlook published shortly after the UK’s Brexit referendum, we outlined our expectation for the August MPC meeting of a 25bp interest rate cut and a new QE programme of around £100bn. At the time, the market was expecting a rate cut but the resumption of QE was a firm off-consensus call. When it came to it, the Bank of England delivered the quarter-point rate cut and, as yesterday’s re-pricing of sterling and the gilts curve demonstrated, surprised the market with a new £70bn QE package. To find out more, click above to watch the video o...

July, 15 2016 by lsr team

With central banks ready to raid their emergency tool kits and the ECB rapidly absorbing most of the euro area’s bond market, it is perhaps understandable that Brexit hasn’t triggered a wider deterioration in European financial conditions. The economy however will take a hit in coming months as the UK is an important market for many euro area exporters. That said, Brexit has had a significant impact on European banks, especially Italian lenders. Currently, Italian non-performing loans stand at around €210bn-360bn, or around 20% of GDP. Click above to wat...

June, 22 2016 by lsr team

June would have been a busy month for event risk by any measure, with ECB, Fed, BoJ and BoE policy decisions, an OPEC meeting at the start of the month and Spanish elections at the end. But all these have been completely overshadowed by the EU referendum the UK will hold tomorrow on June 23. With the emphasis very much on the short term, we focus on two aspects of Brexit: what’s likely to happen and how to position for it. Click above to watch the full video or below for our latest Asset Allocation report on Brexit strategy.

May, 16 2016 by lsr team

Depending on who you believe, Brexit would either cause a crisis on a par to what happened in 2008, or herald the start of a British economic renaissance, an era of free trade and rapid deregulation. The truth, of course, is that nobody really knows what will happen because the outcome depends on what policies and institutional arrangements are put in place following the referendum. The only thing we know for sure is that this situation is causing considerable uncertainty and a Brexit vote would compound any short-term damage that is doing to the UK economy. While Brexit...

April, 07 2016 by lsr team

We held a client seminar on the economic impact of Brexit in June 2015 – as always at LSR we like to be well ahead of the curve! As we stated then, the longer term implications of a vote to leave are likely to be small in either direction. However, since the middle of last year our concerns about the immediate impact of the referendum have been amplified by the declining household savings rate. With consumer demand closer to the end of its own cycle, any investment disruption will be keenly felt. Our senior economist, Richard Batley discusses Brexit and its impact...

March, 24 2016 by lsr team

We recently published the Q2 2016 edition of the LSR UK Outlook. Our central forecasts assume that the UK remains in the EU, but we also modelled a ‘Brexit risk’ scenario. This risk involved shocking the model in a number of different ways, in particular by weakening trade-weighted sterling, increasing the level of household’s precautionary saving and reducing the share of business investment associated with exports to the EU to a ‘depreciation-replacement’ only level. The difference in the quarterly profile of growth between our central pro...

February, 23 2016 by lsr team

With the prospect of a June referendum hanging over the markets, interest in Brexit trades has heightened. There is currency-market evidence showing that speculative investors have been positioning for a possible Brexit principally in the FX options markets. Indeed, a chunk of decline in sterling during late December and January may be related to the build-up of option-market positioning, since spot market positioning indicators do not show evidence of extreme short positioning so far (see chart above). Our central view is that sterling will remain the main shock-absorbi...

February, 15 2016 by lsr team

The UK cycle is rapidly maturing. We have stressed before that uncertainty over Brexit is likely to add a burden to the end of the cycle, dampening investment intentions just when consumption bottlenecks would otherwise have driven up capex. As with the Scottish referendum, polls have narrowed. The latest poll of polls put those who want to remain in the EU on 51%, with those who wish to leave on 49%. Many of those who expect an exit presumably think it would be a good thing. But in the short term, uncertainty over how Brexit would affect trade and capital flows will tak...

June, 17 2015 by lsr team

Following the surprise result of the UK general election, sterling markets are still faced with the prospect of political uncertainty.  An in/out EU referendum has to be held before the end of 2017, and most likely will be in late-2016.  The prospect of another fiscal rule intended to lock-in budget surpluses could have the effect of introducing a politically-motivated volatility. In the meantime, the UK economy is shaping up to enjoy a period of stable, non-debt dependent growth led by the consumer sector.  LSR’s Richard Batley introduced the sem...