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GBP: is the UK regaining momentum?

By Ricky Bean May 4th, 2017

Following Tuesday’s positive manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI), the construction sector duly followed suit. Much like the manufacturing sector, we had another set of positive figures, with the PMI showing that growth accelerated to a four-month high. This flies in the face of the slight drop-off in the pace of growth the UK has recently experienced.

Indeed, it was reported that civil engineering grew at its fastest pace for a year, and growth in house building also hit a four-month high. With two of the three PMI numbers posting better-than-expected readings, there are tentative signs the UK might be regaining a little momentum after a sluggish start to 2017. It will be hoped that the dominant services sector continues this trend.

Meanwhile, there was focus on the much-discussed Brexit ‘divorce bill’ that leapt from €50 billion to €100 billion. Brexit Secretary David Davis stated that the UK will not be paying this settlement, then later stood in front of a sign that must have been hell for his family.

Looking to the day ahead, we have the aforementioned service sector PMI data. The service sector accounts for 70-80% of economic activity in the UK. If this falls short of forecasts, the head of steam the pound has been building up could soon evaporate.