Haver Analytics
Haver Analytics


Andrew Cates

Andy Cates joined Haver Analytics as a Senior Economist in 2020. Andy has more than 25 years of experience forecasting the global economic outlook and in assessing the implications for policy settings and financial markets. He has held various senior positions in London in a number of Investment Banks including as Head of Developed Markets Economics at Nomura and as Chief Eurozone Economist at RBS. These followed a spell of 21 years as Senior International Economist at UBS, 5 of which were spent in Singapore. Prior to his time in financial services Andy was a UK economist at HM Treasury in London holding positions in the domestic forecasting and macroeconomic modelling units.   He has a BA in Economics from the University of York and an MSc in Economics and Econometrics from the University of Southampton.

Publications by Andrew Cates

  • Financial markets have been on the back foot in recent days with some oil-related inflation jitters combined with a “tighter for longer” message from the Fed a couple of contributory factors. In our first two charts this week, we made a nod to these with some colour on US Treasury yields (in chart 1) and the recent behaviour of consumer energy prices (chart 2). With this week’s UK BoE decision in mind, we next focus on the more settled nature of UK financial markets over the last few months (chart 3). Then, ahead of tomorrow’s BoJ decision, and with recent changes to its Yield Curve Control policy in mind, we offer some colour on the evolution of Japan’s JGB yields (chart 4). Subsequently we turn to emerging economy matters with some aggregate perspective on these economies’ dwindling foreign exchange reserves (chart 5). India is a noteworthy exception to this, however, one reason for which concerns its inflows of foreign direct investment which we additionally underscore (in chart 6).

  • Following this week’s policy decision from the ECB, investors will likely remain focused on central banks in the coming days with the Fed, the BoJ and the BoE all due to meet next week. With that in mind, we look at some of the key considerations for these policymakers in our charts this week. To kick off we look at the impact of tighter monetary policy – and quantitative tightening policies in particular – on longer-term real yields in the United States (chart 1). We turn next to some perspectives on the global growth and inflation consensus for 2024 from our latest Blue Chip survey of economic forecasters (in charts 1 and 2). Given its significance for the world economy, China’s slowdown and the impact on its major trading partners is then given some airtime (in chart 4). For the BoE more specifically, we look next at the evidence that’s been accumulating to suggest the UK labour market is feeling some strain (chart 5). Finally, and with much discussion doing the rounds about the potential impact of a new currency for the so-called group of BRICS economies, we look at the still-high weight of the US dollar in the reserve holdings of the world’s central banks (in chart 6).

  • The world economy resilience over the last few months has surprised many forecasters but the incoming data from Europe this week coupled with a further climb in the price of oil suggest that downside risks are accumulating. In our charts this week we dig into this with some perspective on the downbeat messaging from September’s sentix surveys (chart 1) and our calculations for credit impulses in the US and the euro area (chart 2). The potential for positive inflation surprises from the recent climb in the oil price is then explored in our next exhibit (chart 3). The offset to this, however, is the broader evidence of a post-pandemic re-balancing of the world economy (chart 4). Still, if the incoming growth data disappoint and inflation outcomes surprise to the upside financial markets are unlikely to react too positively (chart 5). The longer-term strength of that recovery and its dependency on productivity trends and demographic factors is then given some airtime (in chart 6).

  • A trend toward higher government bond yields that had been in vogue for much of August has reversed in recent days. This can be traced to a batch of weaker-than-expected economic data and suggestions that the US labour market, in particular, is re-balancing (chart 1). Notwithstanding some softening in the US, more of the dataflow from the euro area has been firmer-than-expected in recent weeks (see chart 2). Until recently those trends, however, have failed to impress FX investors (chart 3). One reason for this arguably concerns interest rate expectations and growing evidence, in particular, from the euro area to suggest that the ECB monetary policy is now very restrictive (chart 4). Still, with this week’s European inflation data offering little comfort for those with a dovish disposition (chart 5) a pivot toward easier monetary policy from the ECB is unlikely in the period immediately ahead. Finally, how China evolves from here will remain key for the global economic outlook which is why the messages from most of its high frequency data are equally unhelpful for those with a more bullish disposition towards its economy (chart 6).

  • We are publishing this edition of Charts of the Week and our podcast a little earlier this week owing to logistical issues caused by the August holiday season.

    Although the anxiety that has lately gripped financial markets has ebbed a little in the early half of this week, investors are no longer actively embracing the soft landing consensus that had previously held sway. Growing evidence of economic instability in China have certainly magnified those concerns (chart 1). But these have been further amplified by the break higher in government bond yields - and most notably in Japan’s JGB yields - over the last few weeks (chart 2). Firmer-than-expected economic data from the US may have been a contributing factor behind those moves in yields (chart 3). But lingering inflationary pressures in other major economies, such as the UK (chart 4), coupled with reticence from policymakers to pivot toward more growth-friendly policies, have also been critical for that trend as well. And since inflation and policy tensions have been key drivers of global macroeconomic and financial market instability in recent months (see charts 5 and 6), it is perhaps unsurprising that alarm bells are now ringing more loudly about the economic outlook from here.

  • The mood in financial markets has soured over the past few days thanks to some downbeat messages from the global dataflow and most notably from China. The minutes released from the Fed’s July FOMC meeting further contributed to this negativity. These minutes specifically suggested that most officials are more concerned about inflation as opposed to growth, amplifying the prevailing investor pessimism. Our charts for this week offer additional insight. They demonstrate that the recent downturn in global equity markets has unfolded against a backdrop of unusually low volatility and highly positive investor sentiment (chart 1). Consensus forecasts for US profits had, until quite recently, also been falling at the same time as forecasts for long-term interest rates had been rising (chart 2). The economic outlook for next year for most major economies has also darkened in recent weeks according to the latest Blue Chip survey of economic forecasters (chart 3). Pessimism about the UK has, in particular, become fairly acute and has possibly now been further magnified following this week’s spate of economic data (chart 4). On a brighter note, this week’s Q2 GDP data from Japan were much stronger than forecasters had anticipated notwithstanding less favourable underlying details (chart 5). Finally, and sticking with some more upbeat news, geopolitical risks have continued to ebb in recent weeks and, according to one metric, have now returned to levels that pervaded prior to the conflict in Ukraine (chart 6).

  • United Kingdom
    | Aug 16 2023

    The UK economy: Poor health

    The UK economy is not in great shape. That’s the overriding message from the battery of UK economic data that have been published over the past few days.

    Although last week’s data revealed that GDP grew by a stronger-than-expected pace of 0.5% in June, the UK’s post-pandemic recovery has nevertheless remained poor. The level of GDP in Q2 2023, for example, was still some 0.2 percentage points below the level in Q4 2019, just prior to the onset of the pandemic.

  • Financial markets have continued to gravitate toward the ‘Goldilocks’ scenario where economic growth is neither “too hot” nor “too cold” and where inflation gradually moderates to more target-friendly levels. Under that scenario central banks could take their proverbial foot off the brake, and sit back and wait for a few months, before gently re-applying the accelerator. But while that view may have appeared overly optimistic a few weeks ago, much of the incoming data more recently appears to support this narrative. GDP data, for example, for most major economies suggest that a recession was averted in Q2 (see chart 1). This is despite the high odds that had been assumed by many economists and financial market participants about that scenario (chart 2). In the meantime, ebbing US labour market activity, firmer productivity growth and more benign unit labour cost pressures (chart 3) have aligned quite convincingly with the Goldilocks narrative, not least given the importance of the latter for inflation outcomes. And this has found an echo in the headline CPI inflation outcomes for June (and July) not just for the US but for other major economies as well (chart 4). Not for the first time, however, the incoming data can still be cut both ways. Much of the good news on the inflation front, for example, can be traced to the weakness of energy prices in recent months. But with oil prices having strengthened again more recently – and core inflationary pressures less benign than the headlines suggest – market-based measures of inflation expectations are now somewhat un-friendly for most central banks (chart 5). Finally – and in the other direction – latest data from China are not all friendly for soft-landing enthusiasts either as downside risks to the growth and inflation outlook have been accumulating (chart 6).

  • The downgrade of US government debt by a credit rating agency has been a big driver of this week’s financial market gyrations. The decision by the Bank of England to lift policy rates by 25bps (with hints of more to follow) coupled with firmer-than-expected private sector payrolls data (from ADP) also served as a reminder that central banks may not yet have completed their tightening cycles. In our charts this week we look at the latest views on central bank policy that emerged from August’s Blue Chip Financial Forecasts survey (chart 1). That those views remain consistent with the idea that tightening cycles are near completion is, in part, a reflection of tighter financial market conditions, which we offer some perspectives on in our next exhibit (chart 2). It is also, however, a function of inflation, and for many central banks, service sector inflation which we focus on next (in chart 3). The decline in global economic policy uncertainty that’s unfolded in recent months is the takeaway from our next exhibit (chart 4). We then contrast this with the recent weakness of demand and of pricing power in the world’s traded goods sector (in chart 5). Lastly, (in chart 6) we look at the escalation in global rice prices in recent weeks given the threats this is posing for economic, political and social stability in many emerging market economies.

  • Central banks have dominated the financial headlines this week but they have spawned few policy surprises so far. Rate hikes of 25bps from the Fed and the ECB were “in the price” as were comments suggesting that their tightening campaigns could be close to fruition. In light of this, our charts this week look at the view that persists among investors that a Fed policy tightening cycle is indeed close to completion (in chart 1). There is arguably less unanimity among investors on this over ECB policy but this week’s euro area money supply data certainly indicate that its monetary tightening campaign is working (chart 2). We then turn to this week’s firmer-than-expected US consumer confidence report from the Conference Board, how this tallies with recent surveys from Europe, and why weaker energy prices may have been a common driver (chart 3). Lower energy prices is a theme in our next two charts as well, firstly via its impact on goods price inflation in advanced economies (chart 4), and then on why the UK’s inflation arithmetic remains an outlier relative to other advanced economies (chart 5). We then stay with energy matters in our final chart this week via some updated data for 2022 for sources of global energy consumption (chart 6).

  • The mood in financial markets has remained upbeat over the past few days partly thanks to some stronger-than-expected US earnings reports. Last week’s weaker-than-expected inflation data have also continued to lift hopes that a hard landing scenario can be avoided. As we illustrate in our charts this week, however, the incoming data from elsewhere has not been as auspicious. While US growth and inflation releases have been better-behaved (see chart 1), China’s latest data have been more downbeat (chart 2). And although this week’s UK inflation data were weaker-than-expected, progress toward normalisation remains painfully slow in part due to persistent price pressures in the service sector (see chart 3). Thankfully, tentative evidence has started to emerge to suggest that wage pressures in the US and Europe have begun to cool (chart 4). The sustainability of that trend in the period ahead, however, will partly hinge on competitive forces and global context, which we examine next (in chart 5). Finally this week, and via some data from the World Bank, we look at some refugee numbers in high income economies and the difficult messages these carry for political stability (in chart 6).

  • Incoming economic data that concern inflation and labour market activity have continued to dominate the financial headlines over the past few days with Wednesday’s weaker-than-expected US CPI report a notable highlight. And this, coupled with evidence suggesting that labour markets may be cooling down, has driven soft landing scenarios into the ascendancy once again. In our charts this week we illustrate how the Blue Chip consensus for GDP growth and inflation in 2023 for some of the world’s major economies appears to have decoupled from global influences in recent months (charts 1 and 2). Domestic drivers of the economic cycle, in other words, are taking on more importance compared with global drivers, such as energy prices (chart 3). Our second chart additionally suggests that UK inflation is unexpectedly high relative to global norms but, as suggested above, there was some helpful evidence of a slowdown in the labour market in this week’s batch of economic data (chart 4). Calibrating monetary policy at present, however, remains hazardous, not least given acute uncertainties about prospective demand and supply patterns. Latest estimates from the New York Fed suggest the final destination for short-term interest rates is little different to where it used to be (chart 5). The same analysis, however, equally suggests that this destination could still be a long way off and with the road in between somewhat rocky and hazardous to say the very least (chart 6).