nflation in the U.K. receded for the third straight month in January, with the headline rate coming in lower than expected at 10.1% year-over-year. The biggest upward contributions to the headline rate came from household energy and food prices. Excluding those more volatile factors, core CPI fell to 5.8% year-over-year. Given that headline inflation is still five times the Bank of England's (BoE) 2% target, the central bankraised its policy rate 50 bps to 4.00% at its February meeting and signaled further monetary tightening ahead. Against this backdrop, we forecast a final 25 bps rate increase at the BoE's March meeting. Inflation slowing more sharply than expectations also reinforces the view that an end to BoE rate hikes is in sight, especially against a backdrop of underwhelming U.K. economic activity. We expect the policy rate to remain at 4.25% through late 2023, before the BoE begins cutting rates in Q4 of this year.
Elsewhere, Japan's economy experienced a somewhat uneven growth path in 2022, bouncing back and forth between expansion and contraction. While it ended on a positive note, Japan's Q4 GDP data release showed that the economy grew less than expected. More specifically, GDP rebounded 0.2% quarter-over-quarter in Q4 after a negative print in Q3. The underlying details of the report reflected mixed sector trends, with private consumption rising 0.5% quarter-over-quarter but business spending falling 0.5%. We expect these mixed economic trends to flow through to this year, altogether expecting growth in Japan to average a moderate 1.3% in 2023, essentially unchanged from last year. At the same time, inflation appears to be trending higher. In December, nationwide headline CPI reached 4% year-over-year, and while more contained compared to its global peers, this is quite elevated compared to Japan’s recent history. Only moderate growth combined with rising inflation pressures adds to the Bank of Japan's (BoJ) dilemma of if and when it should begin to tighten monetary policy, especially with a new BoJ governor on the way. While our base case is for no change in policy settings this year, we will be closely watching for any signals that the BoJ is ready to move away from easy monetary policy.
Down under in Australia, labor trends continued to soften in January. The job market failed to regain its footing last month, with employment declining for the second month in a row. Although consensus expectations were for a 20,000-job gain, employment actually fell by 11,500. Notably in contrast to the December jobs report, this drop in employment was completely due to a decline in full-time employment (-43,300), while part-time employment increased (+31,800). Other parts of Australia's economy also experienced some softness late last year, but we believe this soft patch is temporary and do not forecast Australia to fall into recession this year, nor do we expect slower growth to prevent the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) from continuing to tighten monetary policy in order to bring down inflation.
This Week's State Of The Economy - What Is Ahead? - 10 November 2022
Wells Fargo Economics & Financial Report / Nov 11, 2022
Relief in October inflation gives the FOMC the ability to slow the pace of rate hikes ahead. But make no mistake, the Fed\'s job of taming inflation remains far from over.
This Week's State Of The Economy - What Is Ahead? - 10 March 2023
Wells Fargo Economics & Financial Report / Mar 14, 2023
Financial markets were looking for validation that January\'s unexpected strength was not a fluke and that the downward slide in economic momentum experienced late last year had stabilized.
This Week's State Of The Economy - What Is Ahead? - 02 July 2021
Wells Fargo Economics & Financial Report / Jul 13, 2021
We added 850,00 jobs in June, but much of that was State governments school districts in some parts of the Country reopening just in time for summer break.
August 2020 Economy At A Glance
Wells Fargo Economics & Financial Report / Aug 22, 2020
Downstream involves the refining and processing of oil and natural gas into fuels, chemicals, and plastics. All three sectors are well-represented in Houston.
This Week's State Of The Economy - What Is Ahead? - 17 July 2020
Wells Fargo Economics & Financial Report / Jul 18, 2020
Two countervailing themes competed for attention this week in financial markets. The first is that for the most part, economic data continue to surprise to the upside and do not yet rule out prospects for that elusive V-shaped recovery.
This Week's State Of The Economy - What Is Ahead? - 24 July 2020
Wells Fargo Economics & Financial Report / Jul 25, 2020
Initial jobless claims rose to just over 1.4 million for the week ending July 18. Continuing claims fell to about 16.2 million. Initial claims edging higher suggests that the resurgence of COVID-19 may be taking a toll on the labor market recovery.
13 January 2021 Monthly Outlook Report
Wells Fargo Economics & Financial Report / Jan 19, 2021
The U.S. economy appears to be losing some momentum as the calendar turns to 2021 and the public health situation continues to deteriorate.
This Week's State Of The Economy - What Is Ahead? - 10 November 2020
Wells Fargo Economics & Financial Report / Nov 17, 2020
The U.S. election has come and gone, but we have not made any meaningful changes to our economic outlook, which continues to look for further expansion in the U.S. economy in coming quarters.
28 January 2021 Economic Outlook Report
Wells Fargo Economics & Financial Report / Feb 08, 2021
In our recently released second report in this series of economic risks, we focused on the potential of demand-side factors to lead to significantly higher U.S. inflation in the next few years.
This Week's State Of The Economy - What Is Ahead? - 22 October 2021
Wells Fargo Economics & Financial Report / Oct 25, 2021
Restrictions from a renewed COVID outbreak in China, regulatory changes weighing on local financial markets and a potential collapse of Evergrande have all contributed to a slowdown in Chinese economic activity.