Analysts are positive that the pound will likely continue to strengthen in the coming days and even weeks, after encouraging news that the economy should show strong growth in the third quarter and the Bank of England is considering raising interest rates in early 2022.

Growth is expected to continue

Friday’s disappointing GDP data which showed that the economy grew very little did not affect market sentiment, as economists argued that many of the reasons behind the slowdown were associated with the past including self-isolation rules. August and September GDP numbers are expected to be stronger, confirming expectations that the economy is healthy. Economic thinktank NIESR has forecast that UK growth will have picked up in August and September, due to the domestic tourism and hospitality industries, with September’s growth to rise to 0.8%.  

The pound was higher against both the euro and the US dollar on Monday morning, as markets are confident that the BoE could move faster than both the ECB and Federal Reserve and raise interest rates early next year. This will also depend on positive economic data coming out of the UK and investors will want to see consistently positive news before they become confident about the strength of the UK currency.

On Friday, the pound reached a two-week high, following its previous lows, but fell again after global sentiment was threatened by rekindled fears regarding the troubled relationship between the US and China.

Bank of England and rates

The Bank of England is expected to raise interest rates in the first half of 2022 due to improved economic conditions including growth rates and rising inflation. Economists are concerned that inflation will rise above the Bank’s target and for a longer period of time, which could lead to further interest rate rises. This will help boost the pound too.

The Bank of England appears to be more positive and ready to push interest rates higher than many other central banks such as the Swiss National Bank, the ECB and the Bank of Japan.  Following last week’s Monetary Policy Committee members’ appearance before a Parliamentary sub-committee and the revelation that half of the members are already convinced that the minimum conditions for an interest rate hike have been met, the pound has strengthened.

If the recent uncertainty caused by the rapid spread of the Delta variant of the coronavirus proves to be temporary, then the pound will find further support. Economists are still cautious about the pound considering the return to school and the possibility of more cases. The winter is also a concern, and with the number of high cases continuing, consumer spending could be affected. With or without any new restrictions, activity could still suffer as consumers become more cautious. Bloomberg has also highlighted the ending of several government support programmes this month that could weigh on sentiment.

If you are a business transferring funds overseas, contacting a currency specialist could save you time and money. Get in touch with Universal Partners FX and their dedicated team to discuss the latest market movements ahead of your currency exchange. If you are transferring funds to pay your employees abroad, get in touch with Universal Partners FX to find out how much you can save in your international money transfers. Universal Partners FX can provide invaluable help on efficient risk management and tailored solutions to your business’ transfer needs.

The pound rose in response to Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey’s comments that a 2022 rate hike is possible. While soon after, the pound was unable to hold its gains, the revelation by the central bank was important as it confirmed market expectations that a rate rise in the first half of 2022 is possible.

UK tax hike

The pound was higher, especially after it lost ground due to an announcement on Tuesday of a UK tax hike. The proposal, which on Wednesday was backed by British lawmakers in a parliamentary vote, intends to raise taxes to fund the health and social care systems. The government will raise the rate of National Insurance payroll taxes paid by both workers and companies by 1.25 percentage points. The tax on shareholder dividends will also rise by the same percentage. The plan is expected to help raise 12 billion pounds ($17 billion) a year.

Bank of England Vote to Raise Interest Rates

Andrew Bailey clarified that the eight members of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) were divided as to whether the UK economy was healthy enough for interest rates to be raised. In a testimony to the Treasury Select Committee of the House of Commons, Bailey noted that the vote was split: “Let me condition this by the fact that it was an unusual meeting because there were only eight members of the committee - so it actually was four-all.” In the August MPC meeting, however, all 8 members voted to keep interest rates unchanged. So, the bank feels more confident about the state of the economy now. Nonetheless, Bailey explained that the

Bailey said that the conditions were not yet sufficient. Markets expect the MPC to end quantitative easing in December before proceeding to raise interest rates. While Silvana Tenreyro did not believe that the conditions have been met yet, other members of the MPC including Bailey, Dave Ramsden and Ben Broadbent and Michael Saunders, all believed that the minimum conditions had been met for a hike. The remaining members of the MPC, Gertjan Vlieghe, Jon Cunliffe and Jonathan Haskel were possibly the more dovish members who believe that conditions have not been met yet.

Has the 2022 interest rate already been priced in by markets?

It would appear that it has been priced in by markets, as the pound was unable to hold gains. For the pound to strengthen, the Bank will need to provide more evidence of future rate hikes. If inflation stays above the Bank’s 2.0 % target, then the need to raise interest rates will rise too. The Bank’s economists expect inflation to rise 4.0% in 2021 but fall back in 2022. Bailey said that some issues could disappear, but unemployment and job vacancy issues could persist. Higher commodity prices and problems with supply chains could go away, but the labour market will need to improve consistently.  

Economists are concerned that after the end of the government's furlough scheme, unemployment will rise. But with many businesses finding it difficult to fill in their vacancies, the end of the support program might be positive.

If you are a business transferring funds overseas, contacting a currency specialist could save you time and money. Get in touch with Universal Partners FX and their dedicated team to discuss the latest market movements ahead of your currency exchange. If you are transferring funds to pay your employees abroad, get in touch with Universal Partners FX to find out how much you can save in your international money transfers. Universal Partners FX can provide invaluable help on efficient risk management and tailored solutions to your business’ transfer needs.

Sterling fell on Tuesday against a stronger dollar, following a drop at the start of the week due to the UK’s economic slowdown.

Weak surveys push pound lower

While earlier this year, markets were upbeat about the UK’s economic prospects as the fast pace of the Covid-19 vaccinations injected confidence about reopening the economy and a quick economic rebound, more recently indications of a slowdown have pushed the pound lower. Additionally, the combination of factors such as Covid-19 that forced lots of employees to stay at home and hurt businesses, as well as global supply issues due to Brexit, have also drove the British currency lower.

On Monday, it fell after a survey of purchasing managers showed that the UK construction industry was hurt by a shortage of building supplies which weakened its growth last month. Friday’s PMI data also showed that growth in the services sector slowed down in August compared with July.

Bank of England’s Michael Saunders

The positive comments by Bank of England’s policymaker Michael Saunders did not have a significant effect on the pound. Saunders said the central bank may need to raise interest rates next year if both growth and inflation continue to rise. His comments did not surprise markets as investors possibly do not consider him as an influential voice of the MPC (Monetary Policy Committee).

Saunders believes that the Bank could stop its stimulus programme and that the continued purchases could put inflation expectations at risk. In an online event hosted by Intuit, Saunders explained why he voted to reduce the Bank’s QE bond-buying stimulus programme at last month’s MPC meeting: “My own view at the August meeting was that with the recovery in the economy, and inflation back to target, we no longer need as much monetary stimulus as previously.”

He also noted that interest rates could rise when the health of the economy is undeniably strong: “As to when I think interest rates might rise, that would depend on the economic outlook.” He added: “If the economy continues to recover, and inflation shows signs of being more persistent, then it might be right to think of interest rates going up in the next year or so. But that is not a promise and depends on economic conditions.” In relation to inflation, Saunders said that he was worried “that continuing with asset purchases, when CPI inflation is 4% and the output gap is closed - that is the likely situation later this year - might well cause medium-term inflation expectations to drift higher. Such an outcome could well require a more substantial tightening of monetary policy later, and might limit the committee’s scope to respond promptly the next time the economy needs more stimulus.”

Saunders argued that the UK economy has recovered and that the pandemic’s effects will prove to be minimal in the log run. Brexit, on the other hand, will have long term repercussions. For him, ending the current asset purchase programme would not hurt economic recovery as it would still  leave a “very supportive monetary stance in place.”

Last month the BoE said that it could start reducing its financial support which was so necessary during the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdowns, and it has explained how it will do so after it has raised interest rates.  

If you are a business transferring funds overseas, contacting a currency specialist could save you time and money. Get in touch with Universal Partners FX and their dedicated team to discuss the latest market movements ahead of your currency exchange. If you are transferring funds to pay your employees abroad, get in touch with Universal Partners FX to find out how much you can save in your international money transfers. Universal Partners FX can provide invaluable help on efficient risk management and tailored solutions to your business’ transfer needs.

International currency transfers can be easy and stress-free if your business has a plan and partners with a currency specialist right from the beginning. Whether you are a small business owner or a large business, if international currency transfers are an essential part of your operations, then a currency specialist will prove to be a valuable asset. From securing competitive exchange rates and providing risk management, a currency transfer firm such as Universal Partners FX will provide much-needed support and guidance.

Get more for your hard-earned money

One of the easiest ways to give your business a boost is by taking advantage of competitive exchange rates and securing the best possible return for your international currency transfers. If you plan ahead and lock a desired exchange rate for a future transfer or benefit from a current exchange rate, you will be able to save money and invest your funds in other assets or in developing your business further. This is the case when you send large amounts of money regularly overseas.

UPFX can help you access the best possible exchange rates available with no hidden fees or extra costs.

Know the markets

The markets are constantly changing and for this reason you want a stable and reliable currency transfer company to act efficiently and provide the best exchange rates, as these can change drastically from one moment to the next and from one day to another. One of the valuable and beneficial services UPFX provides, is its news articles on currency movements and how economic data may affect the pound or other major currencies. These regular updates are useful as they can provide a good picture of how the markets are and what could potentially influence them.

Online platform

With UPFX’s online platform, you can trade from anywhere and at any time, through your computer or mobile device. Currency transfers have never been this easy. In a fast world, where convenience is paramount, we have tried to cater to all our customers and provide services that make a difference and save you time and money. If you are regularly transferring funds for your business this is a perfect way to do so.

Security of funds

When we transfer your funds, we pay the utmost attention and provide fast and secure transfers. As a regulated firm we adhere to specific rules and regulations. We always protect your funds by operating segregated accounts.

Dedicated team of experts

We are always on hand to offer help and guide your through the process of transferring your funds. If you’re not sure about how to tackle your business’ payments, our currency experts will discuss with you and review your business’ needs and requirements, explain which currency transfer options would best suit your company and deliver tailored solutions and payment plans. They can also help identify areas where you could streamline processes and manage risks more efficiently.

Trading internationally? Save money with Universal Partners FX

If you are making international money transfers, you will need a cost-effective and secure way to do so. Universal Partners FX is the right partner for your foreign exchange. With UPFX, you can open a multi-currency account, send and receive money worldwide with low and transparent fees. You can also manage your money and send international payments 24/7 through UPFX’s easy-to-use online platform powered by Currency Cloud.

If you are an exporter or plan to start your international business, get in touch now with Universal Partners FX to find out how much you can save in your international money transfers.

Today Universal Partners FX provide their semi-annual trading update.

The first half of our financial year saw fantastic results, building upon the incredible progress made at the end of 19/20.

Below are the key highlights:

 

  • H1 revenue increased by 32% to £1.85 million compared to £1.4 million in H1 2020.
  • Turnover increased by 21% compared to H1 2020.
  • New clients increased by 32%.
  • UPFX staff headcount has increased by 45%.
  • Implementation of new back-office systems to help meet future growth forecasts.

 

Click below to download the full report:

UPFX_Half_Yearly_Report_Oct_20-Mar_21.pdf (1.61 mb)