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The Pound re-approaches its August high

Published: 31 Aug at 8 PM Tags: Pound Sterling, Euro Exchange Rate, Dollar Exchange Rate, Currency Exchange, Euro Crisis, UK, Economy,

The pound enjoyed a steadier day in yesterday’s foreign exchange market rising to a level against the Euro not seen since 6 August.

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) in its latest quarterly Distributive Trades Survey reported that a combination of hot summer weather and the economic upturn seems to have enticed shoppers onto the UK high street in August with retail sales rising strongly in the 12 months to August 2014. Even better, the pace of the economic upturn is expected to accelerate again in September.

CBI deputy director-general Katja Hall commented that "The high streets have been bustling with shoppers this summer and it is good to see firms so optimistic about their business prospects for the next three months - higher than at any time since 2002."

Meanwhile the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) reported that the UK is on track to grow at its fastest pace since 2007. In its latest ‘health check’ on the UK economy, the BCC raised its growth forecast from 3.1% to 3.2% for 2014 and from 2.7% to 2.8% for 2015 on the back of stronger employment figures. The report does also show that the UK government appears to be struggling in its efforts to re-balance the UK economy. The UK government has set itself a target of raising exports to £1 trillion by 2020 but the CBI has more than halved its estimate this year for exports of goods and services from 1.9% to just 0.8%

The US Dollar received a further boost yesterday after the US Commerce Department reported in its second estimate for US gross domestic product (GDP) that the US economy grew by an annualised rate of 4.2% in the second quarter of 2014, a much higher rate than most analysts had anticipated and also a strong than expected rebound from the 2.1% contraction suffered by the US economy in the first quarter of this year.

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