Europe

  • 2019-08-21 04:37


    By Les Commons and Irene Prihoda

    LONDON (MNI) - UK government finances received a modest boost in July, with a surplus of stg1.132 billion, although that was lower than the near stg3.6 billion surplus seen in July 2018.

    The following are the key points from public sector finance data published Wednesday by the Office for National Statistics.

    - Year-to-date borrowing stood at stg16.0 billion in July, up 60% on the stg10.0 billion YTD in July 2018. It was the biggest July YTD percentage gain since July 2009/10. July 2018 was the highest July surplus seen since 2002.

  • 2019-08-15 04:30


    By Laurie Laird, Les Commons and Irene Prihoda

    LONDON (MNI) - UK consumers appeared undaunted by Brexit uncertainty through July, as retail sales far outpaced expectations.

    The following are the key points from retail sales data published Thursday by the Office for National Statistics.

    - British consumers continued to splash out in July, countering corporate caution ahead of Brexit, providing arguably the only ray of light in a slowing economy.

    - Retail sales rose by a modest 0.2% in July, confounding forecasts of a 0.2% decline.

  • 2019-08-09 04:55


    By Laurie Laird and Irene Prihoda

    LONDON (MNI) - The UK economy recorded its first contraction since the final quarter of 2012, roiled by Brexit-related distortions.

    The following are the key points from UK Q2 GDP data published Friday by the Office for National Statistics.

    -- GDP slumped by 0.2% in Q2, falling far short of analysts' expectations and predictions by Bank of England staff. The economy last contracted in Q4 2012, then a hangover from elevated activity during the London Olympics in the previous quarter.

    -- A 2.3% plunge in manufacturing erased 0.23 percentage points from Q2 growth, courtesy of a 5.2% slump in transport equipment over the quarter.

  • 2019-07-29 04:30


    By David Robinson and Irene Prihoda

    LONDON (MNI) - Bank of England money and credit data showed that in June the average interest rates being paid by borrowers on new mortgages fell to their lowest level since January 2018 while mortgage approvals, a reliable indicator of future housing purchases, nudged higher.

    The growing gloom over the economic outlook, exacerbated by the risk of a no deal Brexit, has seen market rate expectations pushed lower with near term tightening no longer priced-in and new mortgage interest rates have moved down, improving affordability.

    The following are key points from the BOE data sets:

    -The average interest rate on new secured lending fell to 2.02% in June from 2.08% in April and May, hitting its lowest level since the fi

  • 2019-07-19 04:51


    By Laurie Laird and Shaily Mittal

    LONDON (MNI) - UK government borrowing soared in June, largely lifted by increased payments on index-linked debt.

    The following are the key points from UK Public Sector Finance data published Friday by the Office for National Statistics.

    - Borrowing jumped to Stg7.152 billion last month, far outpacing the MNI median forecast, from Stg3.332 billion a year earlier.

    - Interest payments on index-linked debt ballooned by 42.2% over June 2018, due to fluctuations in the RPI.

    - Corporate tax receipts continue to disappoint, falling by 1.0% in June, the worst June performance since 2013.

  • 2019-07-18 04:39


    By Laurie Laird and Irene Prihoda

    LONDON (MNI) - UK consumers appeared undaunted by Brexit uncertainty last month, as retail sales far outpaced expectations.

    The following are the key points from retail sales data published Thursday by the Office for National Statistics.

    - Sales volumes jumped by 1.0% between May and June, well above the MNI median forecast of a 0.3% decline, lifted by a 3.2% gain in "Other Store" sales, which includes charity shops and auction houses.

    - Every major retailing sector recorded growth last month, with the exception of department stores, which declined for a record-long sixth consecutive month.

  • 2019-07-11 10:17


    By Luke Heighton

    FRANKFURT (MNI) - The Governing Council of the European Central Bank (ECB) has appointed three new members to its supervisory board.

    Edouard Fernandez-Bollo, Kerstin af Jochnick and Elizabeth McCaul will each serve a five-year non-renewable term, and will be responsible for planning and carrying out the ECB's banking supervision.

    Fernandez-Bollo is currently Secretary General of the Autorite de controle prudentiel et de resolution, the French national competent authority.

  • 2019-07-11 09:45


    By Luke Heighton

    FRANKFURT (MNI) - Household inflation expectations may be better predictors of future inflation outcomes than those of professional inflation forecasters, including those of financial markets, the European Central Bank's head of Market Operations said Thursday.

    There is "tentative evidence suggesting that household inflation expectations are better predictors of future inflation outcomes," Benoit Coeure said, as euro area consumers "become less likely to expect inflation outcomes that would be inconsistent with the ECB's definition of price stability."

    Here are the key points from the speech in Frankfurt:

    - Developments over the past year indicate that a growing gap has emerged between the inflation expectations of market participants on one side,

  • 2019-07-11 05:30


    -BOE FPC: 2018 Stress Test Covers Worst Brexit Outcomes -FPC Leaves Countercyclical Buffer Unchanged At 1%

    By Irene Prihoda and Les Commons

    LONDON (MNI) - The Bank of England Financial Policy Committee still sees the UK financial system as resilient to, and prepared for, the wide range of future risks it could face, including a worst-case disorderly Brexit, according to the July Financial Stability report, published Thursday.

    Following are the main points from the Bank's FSR:

    --Although the perceived likelihood on a 'no-deal' Brexit has increased

    since the start of the year, but preparations made by UK financial institutions see them in a good position to navigate any issues.

    --The FPC still sees its 2018 bank stress test of major UK banks as

    sufficiently severe to co

  • 2019-07-10 13:10


    -Tenreyro: Unlikely To Back Rate Hike In Next Few Months If Brexit Deal Done

    LONDON (MNI) - Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee member Silvana Tenreyro said that in her view policy was most likely to be eased in the event of a disruptive Brexit but that this was not certain.

    Even if there were to be a Brexit deal then the external MPC member said she would probably not back tightening policy.

    In a speech at Birkbeck, University of London, Tenreyro said that Brexit uncertainty had increased and that markets were now factoring in a rate cut.