Pound Plunges as Economic Growth Slows Beyond Expectations

The Great Britain pound took a beating today as the vast majority of macroeconomic reports released over the Friday’s trading session were very disappointing. Markets primarily focused on the slowing economic growth, though other indicators were not impressive either.

Britain’s gross domestic product rose just 0.1% in the first quarter of 2018 from the previous three months, slowing from the 0.4% rate of growth demonstrated in the fourth quarter of 2017. Economists had anticipated a much smaller slowdown to 0.3%. Market analysts speculated that the weak data basically eliminated a chance for an interest rate hike from the Bank of England in May. Now, specialists expect the BoE to stay put till August at the very least.

The Index of Services rose 0.4% in the three months through February, while experts were counting on the same 0.6% rate of growth as in the previous reporting period. The GfK Consumer Confidence Index deteriorated from -7 to -9 in April, whereas forecasts had also promised the indicator to remain without change. The only time forecaster hit the mark was the release of the Nationwide House Price Index, which increased 0.2% in April from, exactly as was predicted.

GBP/USD slid from 1.3912 to 1.3773 as of 17:05 GMT today. EUR/GBP jumped from 0.8695 to 0.8792. GBP/JPY tanked from 152.05 to 150.28.

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