By Ashley Finill
The government is currently facing a domestic war with unions across the public sectors as striking for pay is rife and consequently bringing services to a halt causing disruption to many. On February 1st there is set to be a staggering 500,000 worker walk outs across vital sectors over dispute with pay. Teachers, postal workers, NHS workers, railway staff are amongst the protestors which will cause mass disruption to services and the public. Unions have pledged their needs to the government on several occasions with little or no headway being made in the negotiations, something that Labour leader Kier Starmer slammed the current prime Minister Rishi Sunak for, calling for him to apologise for the lethal and avoidable chaos in the NHS, during prime minister questions on Wednesday afternoon. As it stands February 1st strikes is set to be one of the highest walkouts over pay in decades with unionists wanting to see fairer pay to counteract the 40 year high inflation levels in the UK.
Interest rates Decision Continue to Influence Currency Markets
The first quarter of 2023 looks set to be a busy one for the main global banks, as there are reportedly set to be consecutive interest rate hikes for many starting from this month, following into February and March, to help bring the high levels of inflation down. The Bank of England will announce their plans for any rate hikes on the 2nd of February with an increase expected. In the Eurozone, Bloomberg reported earlier this week that the ECB were backtracking on their interest rate hikes plans, with their March hike to be reconsidered. This was rebuffed by ECB committee member Klass Knot said on Thursday “investors underpricing ECB rate hikes and multiple outsized 50 basis point hikes are likely required to bring down inflation.” Also yesterday, ECB president Christine Lagarde said the central bank is determined to stay on course and signalled further big interest rate rises are likely to bring inflation down. These interest rate decisions will undoubtedly cause volatility in the market, and we can expect big movements in the markets should there be any surprises or U-turns on their plans from the big banks. During these unpredictable times it is prudent now more than ever to stay in contact with your currency consultant, a cent drop here or there can as we have seen all too often as of late could be costly and make your property purchase more expensive. We have great contract options to minimise your risk giving you extra security and peace of mind that you are not caught out with any nasty surprise upon completion time when purchasing your currency.
Data releases Today
It’s a tough start to Friday morning for Sterling as UK retail sales figures were released at 7am posting a glum contraction from last month from -0.5% to -1%, seeing Sterling lose half a cent on the Euros this morning so far. These figures are more shocking to the high street as this was during the festive period as this is retails busiest time with festive shoppers spending. The year-on-year figure recorded a miserable low of -5.8%, contracting from the previous figure of -4.8%. This highlights the cost-of-living crisis gripping the nation with the public saving where they try to combat increasing household bills. It is worth also mentioning that Xmas 2022 was the first Christmas in 2 years with no restrictions, the public restricting their spending due to cost-of-living crisis. Omicron restrictions were in place disrupting Christmas for 2021 again giving a stark outlook of how the public is seemingly cutting back spending in these tough times with high prices of living. On to further data today and ECB president Christine Largarde speaks at 10am where she could again speak about the banks plans for interest rates. At 1.30pm in Canada retail sales figures are to be released with a contraction expected to -0.5% from last months 1.4%.