The British pound is in negative territory today, after a contraction in UK GDP. In the European session, GBP/USD is trading at 1.2126, down 0.61% on the day.
British economy declines in Q2
The British pound posted dazzling gains on Wednesday, surging 1.19%. The impressive climb was, however, a case of US dollar weakness, rather than any newfound strength in the pound. Inflation in the US was unexpectedly weaker than forecast, which raised market hopes that the Fed will ease policy. This led to the US dollar being less attractive and the currency took a nasty spill against all the majors.
Sterling hasn’t fared as well after the UK posted the second-quarter GDP report. The economy fell in July by -0.1% QoQ, following a 0.8% gain in June (-0.2% exp). On an annualized basis, GDP growth slowed to 2.9%, within expectations but sharply down from 8.7% in Q1. The outlook does not look good as we head towards winter, with UK households about to be hit with sharp increases in energy prices. Consumers are already struggling with a nasty cost of living crisis, and as they tighten the purse strings, the spectre of a recession will become that much more likely.
Another key indicator, Manufacturing Production, came in at -1.6% MoM, down from a 1.7% gain in May (-1.8% exp). This was the fourth decline in five months, pointing to a worrying downtrend in manufacturing.
The week wraps up with UoM Consumer Sentiment, a key confidence indicator. With the cost of living crisis in the US, it’s no surprise that the index has tumbled – falling from 65.7 in March to just 51.5 in June. This points to weak expansion, just above the neutral 50.0 line. The July forecast calls for a slight improvement to 52.5 points.
- GBP/USD continues to test resistance at 1.2241. Next, there is resistance at 1.2361
- There is support at 1.2123 and 1.2061
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