National Living Wage and the UK economy


A new National Living Wage (NLW) replaces the UK’s National Minimum Wage from April – and so the March 2016 Centre for Macroeconomics survey of experts asked the panel what are likely to be its effects on employment, wages and prices. A majority of respondents believe that the NLW will not lead to significantly lower employment; similarly a majority of respondents believe that the NLW will only have a muted effect on wages and prices.

Brexit and financial market volatility


The February 2016 Centre for Macroeconomics survey of experts asked the panel to opine on whether the possibility of the UK leaving the European Union – ‘Brexit’ – would lead to volatility in financial markets and the broader economy. There was near unanimity that the Brexit question will increase financial volatility and will pose economic costs in the medium term. Financial volatility can be expected to be especially high if polls remain close.

Market Turbulence and Growth Prospects

The January 2016 Centre for Macroeconomics survey of experts asked for the panel’s views on the significance of the recent falls in share prices, low oil prices and the slowdown in some emerging market economies. While all recognise the considerable uncertainty in the world economy, more than two thirds do not fear that these events will have a significant negative impact on the UK’s economic recovery. The main argument is that any negative effect due to lower foreign demand and market instability is compensated by the benefits of lower oil prices.

Autumn Statement & Charter for Budgetary Responsibility


In the December 2015 Centre for Macroeconomics survey, we asked for the panel’s views about the Chancellor’s plans for debt reduction over the rest of this Parliament that were announced in the Autumn Statement on 25 November. We also asked about the economic rationale for the Charter for Budgetary Responsibility that was announced in the summer.

China’s growth slowdown: likely persistence and effects


What are the prospects for the Chinese economy and its international impact? Three quarters of the experts in the Centre for Macroeconomics (CFM) monthly survey believe that China’s annual growth rate will be less than 6% over the next ten years or so. But the panel is divided on whether the slowdown will have a significant impact on the UK economy.

ECB's quantitative easing


Will the risk-sharing arrangements within the European Central Bank’s quantitative easing (QE) programme reduce its effectiveness? According to the latest monthly survey of the Centre for Macroeconomics (CFM) reported in this column, our panel of experts are exactly evenly divided. The written responses suggest that this divergence reflects differences in views about the channels through which QE operates.