Friday 17th December 2021
A rate rise by the Bank of England has surprised many, particularly in an environment of record COVID infections, and a hospitality industry calling for government support as pre-Christmas demand collapses. NAB’s Gavin Friend says it had been clear since August that they wanted to lift rates, the only reason for the delay was a question mark over whether employment numbers would fall after furlough ended, which it didn’t. The ECB gave clearer indications of how they would manage their asset purchase post March. The RBA’s Philip Lowe remains cautionary despite an outstanding set of employment numbers for Australia yesterday. In data releases, PMIs showed a significant fall in services for Europe that is not being seen in the US. A pick-up in housing starts I the US could be taken as a sign that supply chain concerns are easing.