- UK GDP falls by 0.5%
- GBP/USD dips slightly lower
The British pound has edged lower on Wednesday. In the European session, GBP/USD is trading at 1.2472, down 0.17%. The pound fell as low as 1.2441 earlier today but has recovered some of those losses.
UK economy contracts by 0.5%
The UK economy contracted by 0.5% in July, the largest decline this year. The reading reversed the 0.5% gain in June and missed the consensus estimate of 0.5%. The GDP report pointed to weakness across the economy, with declines in services, manufacturing and construction.
There’s no question that the sharp increase in borrowing rates has cooled the economy, but there’s uncertainty as to what action the Bank of England will take at the meeting on September 21st. The markets have priced in a quarter-point rate hike at 75%, which means there is a possibility of a pause in rate increases. The UK economy may already be in recession and another hike will put a further strain on the economy. On the other hand, the battle against inflation is far from over, and with inflation running at a 6.8% clip, the BoE will need to do more to bring inflation closer to the 2% target.
The UK jobs report on Tuesday was a reminder that inflation is alive and kicking. The economy shed a massive 207,000 in the three months to July, as the labour market is showing larger cracks. However, wage growth including bonuses hit 7.8%, unchanged from a month earlier and the highest on record. Wages are now rising faster than consumer inflation, which is one more headache for the Bank of England, which had a rough time in its attempts to bring down inflation.
- GBP/USD is testing support at 1.2459. Next, there is support at 1.2395
- There is resistance at 1.2519 and 1.2592