The Brexit referendum delivered a punch to the UK’s pound, but the currency has slowly picked itself up and gained some strength despite the pandemic, once again closing in on the US$1.40 mark in February. How well it fares over the next few months will depend on several factors—including the UK’s COVID-19 response but also the raft of unique issues that the nation will face as it evolves post-Brexit.
Monetary Policy Committee (MPC)
Although coronavirus restrictions have continued to be lifted, unemployment in the United Kingdom in the three months to July still increased, official data published on Tuesday, September 15, showed. According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the unemployment rate was estimated at 4.1 percent
The Bank of England (BoE) announced on Thursday, September 17, that the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) had voted unanimously to leave its benchmark bank rate at 0.1 percent whilst also maintaining the target for the total stock of asset purchases under its quantitative-easing (QE) programme at £745 billion.
On the surface, the United States is soaring economically when compared to some of its rivals. But turbulence lurks under the nation’s wings. To a large extent, the Federal Reserve is underwriting this growth through monetary and fiscal channels, leading to instability in money markets. What transpires in the world’s largest economy and reserve-currency holder is guaranteed to impact the welfare of economies elsewhere, so what can we expect next?
Taking on the mantle of governorship of a central bank is challenging, but for Andrew Bailey, the new governor of the Bank of England, the role couldn’t be more formidable. With the United Kingdom’s long-awaited divorce from the European Union around the corner, the country’s financial system will need all the help it can get to survive the inevitable turbulence. Bailey’s new job won’t be a walk in the park!