Recent Blogs




UK property market: More still than sparkling

Grant Lewis

The reignition of the UK housing market, led by London, has been a key factor behind the rapid recovery seen in the UK over the past year. Not only has it fuelled a renaissance in the UK’s recession-ravaged construction sector, boosting GDP growth directly, but it has also helped sustain, via confidence and wealth effects, what has been a surprisingly robust recovery in private consumption. But while this has fuelled a great deal of angst about a UK housing market bubble, as we point out in a special report on the UK’s housing market, a look at the data reveals that to be largely a function of London-based commentators reflecting their own experiences. It is definitely not the experience of the vast majority of the country. Look beyond Greater London and there are few if any signs of a housing market bubble.

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UK rates: No change in 2014?

With data released last week having shown the unemployment rate in the UK falling to 7.1% in the three months to November, just a tenth of a percentage point above the MPC’s forward guidance threshold, an awful lot of rubbish has been said and written about how this highlights the failure of forward guidance in the UK...

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Italian and Spanish spreads: Further to fall?

Following a 2013 that saw euro area peripheral government bond spreads fall dramatically, 2014 has seen further reductions in funding costs. Spanish and Italian 10Y spreads to Bunds are now around 200bps, having ended 2013 around 20bps above that level. That compares very favourably to the start of 2013, when Italian spreads were almost 320bps, while Spanish spreads were close to 400bps...

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Euro Banks: Time for another check-up

The European Parliament yesterday passed legislation clearing the way for the European Central Bank to become the sole supervisor of the euro area’s largest banks next year, an early milestone on the long journey towards a euro area banking union...

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RBS - Is George's Heart Really In A Break-Up?

The UK government’s apparent volte-face over breaking up the 81%-taxpayer-owned Royal Bank of Scotland, revealed by chancellor George Osborne in his Mansion House speech on Wednesday evening, has clearly unnerved markets...

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