UK Economy to Strengthen in 2014

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has announced that they believe the UK economy will continue to improve over the course of 2014. According to the BCC in a survey of approximately 8,000 UK businesses they confirmed that the key indicators for the economy are better than before the financial crisis in 2007. The BCC predicted that the last quarter of 2014 will show growth of 0.9% and that growth will be significant in 2014 which is positive news for the start of the year. Should this positivity continue then we could well see Sterling benefit over the course of the year however, while the news is positive the Chancellor George Osborne confirmed yesterday that there is still a lot of difficult decisions to make this year and the cuts will need to continue in order for the economy to continue on its current positive path. At the same time there is a lot of talk about UK house prices improving which again could be good news for Sterling but the concern is that prices are rising too quickly and could create another house price bubble.

While there is a lot of good, positive news it is clear that we must remain cautious before we begin celebrating an end to recession and all our economic woes. It is also clear that while the signs are positive for Sterling in 2014 it should not be taken for granted that we will see sustained Sterling strength and so keeping in close contact with our experienced currency brokers here at Foreign Currency Direct plc. If you need to transfer funds internationally at some point this year make sure you speak with us today so that we can discuss your transfer requirements, the market outlook and the options available to you so you can make an informed decision as to when best to make your currency transfer. You can call us for free on 0800 328 5884 or if calling from abroad on 0044 1494 725353 alternatively email me directly on


Yellen Confirmed As Head of The US Federal Reserve

As expected it has been confirmed that Janet Yellen will be the head of the US Federal Reserve (FED), she will take up her new position on the 1st February and will be the first woman to lead the US FED. Mrs Yellen certainly does not have an easy job awaiting her with America still battling challenging economic conditions. The FED have just begun tapering their current bond buying scheme (a scheme which, similar to the UK’s Quantitative Easing, pumps money into the US economy) and this tapering is expected to continue throughout the year. Mrs Yellen will also oversee a period when US interest rates are at record lows and are unlikely to change in the short term, Mrs Yellen’s big decisions will be about when to increase interest rates and how quickly to continue the tapering – these two decisions especially could influence how successful the US’s recovery is.

America has been witnessing improved economic data in the last few months but with such a key change at the USA’s Central Bank it will be interesting to see what the impact will be, as we have seen in the UK the introduction of Mark Carney last summer has been very positive and America will be hoping a new head of the FED will have a similar effect.