British Pound Rises as Economy Shows Signs of Strength

Azeez Mustapha


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The British pound gained against the dollar on Thursday as new data revealed a robust performance of the UK economy in the last quarter of 2023.

The Bank of England (BoE) reported a surge in borrowing and mortgage activities among British consumers in November, reaching levels unseen since approximately 2016. This uptick suggests that, despite elevated interest rates, consumers remain optimistic about their financial outlook.

Concurrently, a survey conducted by S&P Global and CIPS highlighted a surprising expansion in the UK services sector, constituting a substantial 80% of the economy, in December. This surge marked its highest point since May, accompanied by a notable increase in business optimism, now at a seven-month pinnacle.

Jeremy Stretch, an analyst at CIBC Capital Markets, told Reuters that the pound benefited from the “more constructive UK macro backdrop” and the reduced expectations of an early BoE rate cut.

The BoE, having raised its benchmark interest rate to 5.25% in August, the highest since 2008, maintains a hawkish stance. It aims to counter inflationary pressures witnessed in 2022 and has asserted its commitment to sustaining high rates for “an extended period” to achieve a return to the 2% inflation target.

The Bank of England's interest rate chart
Image: Trading Economics

Despite this, a faction of traders and business leaders advocates for an early 2024 rate cut, positing that additional stimulus is necessary to navigate forthcoming economic challenges.

Pound Rebounds from Tuesday’s Slump

As of the latest update, the pound demonstrated a 0.14% increase against the dollar, settling at $1.2682. Following the data release, it briefly soared to $1.2729, representing a 0.5% surge, before relinquishing some gains.

Pound vs. dollar chart from TradingView
GBP/USD Daily Chart

This positive momentum comes on the heels of a recent 0.9% dip to $1.2610 earlier in the week, marking the pound’s most significant single-day decline since October 12.

The evolving dynamics suggest a nuanced and fluid landscape for the British pound, influenced by both domestic economic indicators and global market sentiments.


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Azeez Mustapha

Azeez Mustapha is a trading professional, currency analyst, signals strategist, and funds manager with over ten years of experience within the financial field. As a blogger and finance author, he helps investors understand complex financial concepts, improve their investing skills, and learn how to manage their money.

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