Sterling saw a plenty of red last week, and it wasn’t just because it was Valentine’s Day. Can downbeat data and the lack of Brexit progress be to blame again this week?
U.K. jobs data (Feb. 19, 9:30 am GMT)
The latest set of disappointing economic data doused hopes that the U.K. can keep calm and carry on throughout Brexit, so market watchers might not be expecting much from this week’s round.
The claimant count change for January is due and analysts are projecting a 12.3K increase in unemployment, slower than the earlier 20.8K gain. Keep in mind, however, that the past five months printed weaker than expected results so it’s not looking too chipper.
Meanwhile, the average earnings index or the three-month rolling average of wage changes could tick higher from 3.4% to 3.5%. This might be a small ray of hope for consumer spending, especially if the actual figure comes in stronger than expected. On the flip side, a downbeat result could spell more doom for the pound.
Brexit, Brexit, Brexit
Time check? It’s less than 40 days to go before Brexit!
Progress check? Just a lot of back and forth but not much to report.
Prime Minister May is headed back to Brussels this week in hopes of persuading EU leaders to give more legal assurances regarding the Irish border backstop. For the nth time!
Today, Brexit Secretary Barclay will meet EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier. On Tuesday, Attorney General Geoffrey Cox is scheduled to give a speech laying out the changes required to eliminate the legal risk that Britain could be trapped in a backstop indefinitely.
With the way things are going (or not going), U.K. businesses are starting to look into emergency measures to cope with an immediate “no deal” scenario.
Missed last week’s price action? Read the GBP price review for February 11-15!