Although the economic outlook for the UK in 2018 is mixed, we believe the consensus is too pessimistic on growth. The global economy is now firing on all cylinders – which will benefit the international-facing UK market – and we believe the risks to growth, inflation and interest rates are all to the upside, in the UK as well as globally.
As expected by the market, the Bank of England (BoE) embarked on its first monetary tightening cycle in a decade last Thursday, with the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) voting to hike interest rates to 0.50%. Although this will be some relief for long-suffering savers, rates still remain incredibly low in a historical context.
Many of the recent comments around fixed income have referred to the impact on the asset class of global monetary tightening. For example, the US Federal Reserve (Fed) and Bank of Canada (BoC) have already raised interest rates, the Bank of England (BoE) have followed suit and, in January, the European Central Bank (ECB) will begin tapering their huge quantitative easing programme.