There’s an economic idiosyncrasy in the U.K. that makes it “one of the most vulnerable countries in the world right now,” according to an investment strategist.
Mike Harris, the founder of Cribstone Strategic Macro, argues that a major problem for Britain is that its mortgage market is “heavily short-term.” While in the U.S. and in other parts of Europe citizens like long-tenure mortgages, many Brits opt for short-term loans of less than five years. Tracker mortgages are also popular which fluctuate with the Bank of England’s base rate.
Harris told CNBC Friday that this was an issue as rate rises would immediately trigger losses to household incomes, while it might not actually deal with the issue of inflation. He explained that the U.K. was a country that “imports inflation,” so the effect of interest rate hikes by the Bank of England wasn’t simply a rebalancing of supply and demand that would slowly rein in consumer price growth.