Ethan Ilzetzki, 13 April 2022

The March 2022 CfM survey asked the members of its UK panel how the Bank of England and the UK Treasury should respond to the economic fallout of the war in Ukraine on the UK economy. A solid majority of the panel think that the Bank of England should slow the pace of interest rate increases planned this year due to the events in Eastern Europe. The panel is nearly unanimous that the government should increase public spending, but is split on whether increased spending should exceed inflation and on whether taxes should be increased or cut in response to recent events.  

Ethan Ilzetzki, 11 November 2021

The October 2021 Centre for Macroeconomics survey asked the members of its UK panel to evaluate the performance of UK fiscal rules to date and which rules would best serve the British economy going forward. This column reveals that the majority of the panel thinks the sequence of fiscal rules in place in the UK since 1997 have caused a material reduction in UK public debt. However, twice as many panellists thought these rules harmed the conduct of macroeconomic policy than those that thought they helped. Going forward, a majority of the panel believes that well-designed rules limiting public deficits or debts would best improve the conduct of macroeconomic policy, but nearly a third would scrap fiscal rules altogether.  

Ethan Ilzetzki, 18 August 2021

By most measures, income inequality has increased in the UK in the past several decades. The July 2021 CfM survey asked the members of its UK panel to evaluate the impact of central banks on inequality and whether the Bank of England should consider income and wealth distribution in its monetary policy decisions. The majority the panel thinks monetary policy has only a small impact on wealth and income inequality. A larger majority of nearly 90% of the panel believes that inequality should play a minimal role or no role in the Bank of England’s monetary policy decisions.

Ethan Ilzetzki, 28 March 2020

The economic damage from the COVID-19 pandemic is already tangible. In response, fiscal and monetary policies have been introduced by many major economies. This column discusses results from a latest Centre for Macroeconomics survey on the policies best suited for dealing with the economic crisis in the UK. Broad consensus exists on the need to support households and businesses, through unemployment benefits, credit support, and direct transfers. Likewise, a substantial share of economists agree that higher public debt burdens should not be a concern in the process of supporting the economy.

Wouter den Haan, Martin Ellison, Ethan Ilzetzki, Michael McMahon, Ricardo Reis, 20 June 2016

This week’s UK referendum on EU membership is likely to have both short- and long-term effects on the country’s financial sector. This column, which reports the views of panel members in the monthly Centre for Macroeconomics survey, finds that almost all think that a vote for Brexit would lead to a significant disruption to financial markets and asset prices for several months, putting the Bank of England on high alert. On top of the risk of a financial crisis in the near future, an unusually strong majority agrees that there would be substantial negative long-term consequences. No panel member expects the overall consequences of a Brexit outcome to be beneficial for the UK economy – the first time since this survey began that one side of the argument is supported by none of the respondents.

Wouter den Haan, Martin Ellison, Ethan Ilzetzki, Michael McMahon, Ricardo Reis, 17 May 2016

Quantitative easing is called ‘unconventional monetary policy’, but monetary policy could get much more ‘unconventional’. Things like ‘helicopter money’, abolishing currency and negative nominal interest rates have entered the public policy debate. This column reports the views of leading experts on the future role of unconventional monetary policy, and what might be called ‘unconventional unconventional monetary policies’. Opinions are divided. There is a healthy dose of scepticism on the effectiveness of current and future policies, but also many respondents express urgency that central banks should have more policy tools to affect inflation and real activity when the need arises. Ultimately, the experts’ hesitations match those of central banks. 

Wouter den Haan, Martin Ellison, Ethan Ilzetzki, Michael McMahon, Ricardo Reis, 28 January 2016

The beginning of 2016 has seen dramatic developments in key markets, including falls in share prices, low oil prices, and a slowdown in some emerging market economies. This column summarises the views expressed on these issues by leading experts in the monthly Centre for Macroeconomics survey. While all recognise the considerable uncertainty in the world economy, fewer than a third fear that these events will have a significant negative impact on the UK’s economic recovery. The prevailing argument is that any negative effects of lower foreign demand and market instability will be compensated by the benefits of lower oil prices.

Events

CEPR Policy Research