IFX Market Report: Wednesday 10th May 2023

The British economy is currently performing well, with households continuing to spend despite the cost of living crisis. This is a positive indication that the country is unlikely to experience a recession. The production index for companies reached 99.8 last month, surpassing the 95-point threshold that separates growth from contraction. The services sector, which accounts for about two-thirds of the UK's economy, has contributed significantly to this growth, lifting the overall economy from the bleak forecasts that were predicted earlier this year by Bank of England officials and experts at the Office for Budget Responsibility. They had warned of a tough recession, but the stronger spending has proven those predictions wrong.

In March, the inflation rate of UK Consumer Prices (CPI) stayed high in the double digits, causing financial strain for households and being more persistent than anticipated. As a result, the Bank's decision-makers may consider increasing the current interest rate of 4.25% when they convene on Thursday. The market's predictions have grown in the last month, and it is now expected that interest rates will reach a maximum of either 4.75% or 5% this year.

According to statistics, the British pound has emerged as the top-performing currency in the G10 major currency group so far this year. It has gained 4.7% against the US dollar, which has been depreciating, and is poised to rise further in light of the Bank of England's projected interest rate hike on May 11th. If US inflation rates decline this week, the dollar could continue to weaken, further supporting the notion that the US Federal Reserve will halt additional rate hikes.

US Treasury Secretary, Janet Yellen, has issued a warning that failing to increase the US debt ceiling could result in severe consequences. If an agreement to raise the federal government's borrowing capacity is not reached, it could run out of funds by early June. This could result in the government being unable to pay wages, welfare, and other essential expenses. Yellen emphasized that it is the responsibility of Congress to take action, and if they do not, the US will suffer from an avoidable economic and financial crisis. On Tuesday, President Biden plans to meet with Republican leaders to request their support in raising the current limit of $31.4tn (£25.12tn).

A survey conducted on Monday revealed that investor confidence in the eurozone decreased unexpectedly in May. Concerns about ongoing inflation and energy-related issues disrupted previously optimistic projections for an economic recovery during the spring. May's Sentix index for the eurozone dropped to -13.1 points from April's -8.7, falling short of the predictions made by analysts polled by Reuters, who anticipated a rise to -8.0 this month.

GBPUSD currently resides at 1.2605

GBPEUR currently resides at 1.1513

EURUSD currently resides at 1.0943

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