Retail Sales Slow – GBP Exchange Rates

Retail sales figures in October slowed considerably according to the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) despite figures being slightly higher than last year. The CBI stated that the slowdown was predominantly due to a large drop in supermarket sales and this was a surprise to the markets who had expected a much more positive figure. However, as we approach Christmas we can usually be assured that Retail Sales will start its annual rise towards the holiday season and assuming the recent positive data means there is more disposable income in the UK economy than recent years we may have some strong retail figures over the coming months which may provide some support for Sterling exchange rates. The poor figures yesterday did however lead to Sterling weakness against most of the major currencies especially against the Euro which fell even further from the highs we recently experienced confirming once again that the currency markets can move sharply and unexpectedly. If you need to buy Euros and were hoping for higher levels than we are now currently at speak to us today to discuss the options available to you. These include a limit order where we can monitor the market on the clients behalf and secure the exchange rate should the rates improve, this can help take some of the stress of the currency markets away from clients and help make the most of any spikes that occur. Call us today to find out more on 0044 1494 725353.


UK House Prices Rising

Figures released by the Land Registry has shown that house prices in England and Wales are rising albeit slowly. According to the Land Registry the average house price is now £167,063 which is still some £15,000 down from the peak reached back in 2007. However, while the growth is modest it is still growth and with so much money in the UK tied up in bricks and mortar an increase in house prices is key to see economic growth, the more house prices increase (within reason) the more likely people are to sell property resulting in more funds moving through the economy. For positive economic growth we need to see UK house prices rising steadily, not the sharp increase back in the early noughties that led to a housing bubble that burst spectacularly. So, this news should be positive for Sterling exchange rates and as a result we may see some Sterling strength today.