- US CPI expected to edge higher to 3.2%
- UK GDP projected to rebound to 0.2%
The British pound is unchanged on Thursday, trading at 1.2741 in Europe. We could see some movement from the pound in the North American session following the release of the US inflation report. On Friday, the UK releases GDP, which is expected to show a 0.2% gain in November, after a 0.3% decline a month earlier.
US inflation expected to inch higher
US inflation fell dramatically in 2023 and we’ll get a look at the December inflation report later today. Inflation was running at a 6.5% clip a year ago and the Federal Reserve has done an admirable job in slashing the inflation rate in half. US CPI is expected to have edged up to 3.2% y/y in December, compared to 3.1% in November which marked a five-month low. Monthly, CPI is expected to have inched up to 0.2%, following a 0.1% gain in November.
The Fed will be more concerned with core CPI, which is a better gauge of inflation than the headline reading. Core CPI is projected to have eased to 3.8% in December, after two straight gains of 4.0%. Monthly, Core CPI is expected to remain at 0.3%. If the inflation readings are wide of the estimates, we could see some volatility from GBP/USD.
The Bank of England was in the spotlight on Wednesday, as Governor Bailey testified before a parliamentary committee regarding the country’s financial stability. Bailey didn’t offer any clues about monetary policy but expressed satisfaction that mortgage rates have been falling. The markets are confident that the BoE’s rate-tightening cycle is over and that the central bank will start cutting interest rates in mid-2024. Bailey has stuck to a ‘higher for lower’ stance on rates but there is pressure on the BoE to consider rate cuts as inflation fell sharply in November to 3.9%, down from 3.6% a month earlier. Bailey may prefer to keep rates in restrictive territory until inflation falls closer to the 2% target before lowering rates.
- GBP/USD is testing resistance at 1.2722. Above, there is resistance at 1.2753
- There is support at 1.2678 and 1.2647