Morning Brief – UK Economic Outlook

Humphrey Percy
Chairman and Founder
Fri 20 Oct 2023

UK Economic Outlook

The announcement earlier in the week that inflation is stuck at 6.7% has given rise to further examination of what’s in store for the UK in the next year: firstly the expectation is that base rates will remain above 5% until the end of 2024. Next under the microscope is the amount of national debt which has led to statisticians dusting off their record books and pronouncing it the largest peace time increase for 300 years: since 2007 the UK’s debt to Gross Domestic Product ratio has grown from 36% to 100% in May 2023. Higher interest rates, low productivity and similar spending will lead to that ratio increasing to 140% in the next 50 years. Unsurprisingly the market does not like this outlook and has punished the Pound. The clearcut need is for greater UK productivity and better directed and preferably less spending or…..both.

GBP/USD 1.2105.

Japanese Yen

With the Yen bumping up against the all important psychological 150 level versus USD, the markets are anticipating firstly Bank of Japan intervention and secondly a similar move to the last time that BOJ acted when it moved smartly back to 132. It all makes for a bumpy ride in the Yen.

USD/JPY 149.95.

Indian Moonshot

Readers of space news will recall that India became the first country to land an unmanned spacecraft at the South Pole of the Moon in August. Following the well worn route of distracting the electorate in the run up to the next General Election (April 2024 if you are wondering) PM Modi yesterday deployed news of something big in fact very big: India plans to set an astronaut on the moon by 2040 following the establishment of an Indian space station by 2035.

USD/INR 83.19.

It’s Not Over Until the Fat Lady Sings

Or so the saying goes when it comes to opera. The Chair since mid 2022 of Covent Garden’s Royal Opera House is faced with a GBP 15 million annual deficit and needs to be creative if not artistic to stem that deficit given the ongoing refurbishment program on top of the running costs. Unsurprisingly the most likely option is to step up commercial sponsorship along the lines that Paris’ Opera Garnier has followed with a Tiffany & Co installation on its façade. Needless to say the more traditionally minded of the ROH’s sponsors are strongly resisting such a move and so while sponsorship of the “right” sort might be contemplated, we are unlikely to see the announcement of a Burger King ROH: Home of the Whopper any time soon.

GBP/EUR 1.1475.

Big Girls Don’t Cry

This day 61 years ago in 1962 the Four Seasons had their smash hit with this number. It was different times of course but it went to the top of the Billboard where it stayed for a solid 5 weeks. While the lyrics in the cold light of day do not stand up to too much scrutiny, it deservedly has become an evergreen standard at weddings, parties and barmitzvahs: Big girls dont cry, big girls don’t cry

Big girls don’t cry (they don’t cry)
Big girls don’t cry (who said they don’t cry)
My girl said good-bye (my oh my)
My girl didn’t cry (I wonder why)

(Silly boy) Told my girl we had to break up
(Silly boy) Thought that she would call my bluff
(Silly boy) But she said to my surprise
Big girls don’t cry

Big girls don’t cry (they don’t cry)
Big girls don’t cry (who said they don’t cry)

Baby I was cruel (I was cruel)
Baby I’m a fool (I’m such a fool)

(Silly girl) Shame on you your Mama said
(Silly girl) Shame on you, you cried in bed
(Silly girl) Shame on you, you told a lie
Big girls do cry

Discussion and Analysis by Humphrey Percy, Chairman and Founder

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