UK : Deflationary forces intensify

Macro

Christopher Dembik

Head of Macro Analysis

Summary:  This is a rather quiet day on the European front as most investors are focusing on the upcoming FOMC meeting that will further explains the Fed's new strategy regarding inflation. In Europe, the most important data release was the UK CPI for the month of August which is down again, confirming that deflationary forces are intensifying in post-lockdown period. The direct consequence of lowflation is that it adds pressure for the Bank of England to widen its support to the economy as the risks of hard Brexit or thin deal (which is currently our best-case scenario) are looming.


In July, the official UK CPI figures surprised on the upside with the biggest driver being a strong rise in fuel prices (petrol and diesel) following a significant increase in demand as the UK and many other countries began to reopen their economies. In August, the UK CPI is down again, confirming that deflationary forces are intensifying in most countries in the wake of the pandemic. The CPI is down to 0.2%, which is the lowest level since the end of 2015, from 1% in the previous month, while core inflation is also down to 0.9% from 1.8% in July. The Eat Out to Help Out scheme implemented by the government to incentivize customers to eat in restaurants and other eating establishments by pushing down the cost of dining out remains the most important deflationary driver (it reduced the CPI by 0.5% on its own) along with airfares that felt for the first time on record in August.

In the short-term, inflation will likely stay subdued as the pandemic scars remain. Rising unemployment, which will probably increase much further in coming months as the furlough is coming to an end in October, will push households to cut their spending, thus putting increased downward pressure on prices. The lowest point for inflation in COVID-19 times has certainly been reached, but we are not getting out from prolonged lowflation anytime soon.

Contained inflation is also confirmed by expectations. In contrast to the post-2008 crisis, where 5Y index linked gilts moved briefly above 5%, currently inflation expectations remain stubbornly well-anchored, around 2%. This is pretty reassuring for MPC members that are worried about expectations. But it adds pressure for the Bank of England to act later this year to stimulate the economy as the risk of hard Brexit is looming. We still expect the Bank of England will widen the scope of its support, first resorting to QE and temporary financing of the government via the “Ways and Means Facility”. We don’t think that negative interest rates, which are part of the toolkit as stated for the first time by Governor Bailey in August, will be used as a first step due to the negative impact on the banking sector.

A gradual rebound in inflation is largely expected by market participants in 2021, when aggregate demand will fully recover and supply-demand imbalances will be reduced. The amplitude of the rebound will also be depend to a lesser extent on two other factors: the evolution of oil prices and any swings in the sterling pound due to the outcome of the UK/EU negotiations.

Disclaimer

Saxo Capital Markets (Australia) Pty Ltd prepares and distributes information/research produced within the Saxo Bank Group for informational purposes only. In addition to the disclaimer below, if any general advice is provided, such advice does not take into account your individual objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider the appropriateness of trading any financial instrument as trading can result in losses that exceed your initial investment. Please refer to our Analysis Disclaimer, and our Combined Financial Services Guide and Product Disclosure Statement. All legal documentation and disclaimers can be found at https://www.home.saxo/en-au/legal/.

The Saxo Bank Group entities each provide execution-only service. Access and use of Saxo News & Research and any Saxo Bank Group website are subject to (i) the Terms of Use; (ii) the full Disclaimer; and (iii) the Risk Warning in addition (where relevant) to the terms governing the use of the website of a member of the Saxo Bank Group.

Saxo News & Research is provided for informational purposes, does not contain (and should not be construed as containing) financial, investment, tax or trading advice or advice of any sort offered, recommended or endorsed by Saxo Bank Group and should not be construed as a record of our trading prices, or as an offer, incentive or solicitation for the subscription, sale or purchase in any financial instrument. No representation or warranty is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this information. All trading or investments you make must be pursuant to your own unprompted and informed self-directed decision. No Saxo Bank Group entity shall be liable for any losses that you may sustain as a result of any investment decision made in reliance on information on Saxo News & Research.

To the extent that any content is construed as investment research, such content was not intended to and has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such, would be considered as a marketing communication.

Please read our disclaimers:
- Full Disclaimer (https://www.home.saxo/en-au/legal/disclaimer/saxo-disclaimer)
- Analysis Disclaimer (https://www.home.saxo/en-au/legal/analysis-disclaimer/saxo-analysis-disclaimer)
- Notification on Non-Independent Investment Research (https://www.home.saxo/legal/niird/notification)

The Saxo trading platform has received numerous awards and recognition. For details of these awards and information on awards visit www.home.saxo/en-au/about-us/awards

Saxo Capital Markets (Australia) Pty Ltd ABN 32 110 128 286 AFSL 280372 (‘Saxo’ or ‘Saxo Capital Markets’) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Saxo Bank A/S, headquartered in Denmark. Please refer to our General Business Terms, Financial Services Guide and Product Disclosure Statement to consider whether acquiring or continuing to hold financial products is suitable for you, prior to opening an account and investing in a financial product.

Trading in financial instruments carries various risks, and is not suitable for all investors. Please seek expert advice, and always ensure that you fully understand these risks before trading. Trading in leveraged products such as CFDs and Margin FX products may result in your losses surpassing your initial deposits. Saxo Capital Markets does not provide ‘personal’ financial product advice, any information available on this website is ‘general’ in nature and for informational purposes only. Saxo Capital Markets does not take into account an individual’s needs, objectives or financial situation.

Apple, iPad and iPhone are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the US and other countries. AppStore is a service mark of Apple Inc.

The information or the products and services referred to on this website may be accessed worldwide, however is only intended for distribution to and use by recipients located in countries where such use does not constitute a violation of applicable legislation or regulations. Products and Services offered on this website is not intended for residents of the United States and Japan.
Please click here to view our full disclaimer.