The British Pound ended Wednesday little changed overall and after selling off briefly in the Asia session on news that Deputy Prime Minister Damien Green became the latest Ministerial resignation from Government, it has subsequently regained these losses. It has also been quite resilient in the face of disappointing numbers on consumer confidence and car manufacturing.
Latest industry figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), show a 4.6 decline in the number of cars rolling off assembly lines in November to 161,479, taking annualized output to 1.69 million. This is an 18-month low after deliveries to the domestic market collapsed by more than 28 per cent; Only 15 per cent of UK cars built in November — 24,276, down from 33,745 in the same month last year — stayed in the home market, indicating rising nervousness among buyers. If the weak trend persists in December, UK car production will have suffered its first annual fall since 2009, when Britain was in the depths of the financial crisis. In that year, production plunged 31% to 999,460 cars.
Separate figures earlier today by GfK showed UK consumer confidence fell again in December. The index fell by one point to -13, marking almost two years of declining consumer confidence. As their Press Release noted, “We need to see several issues move on before the downward trend of the consumer mood changes. We need to have a better sense of how Brexit will pan out, and also of how quickly and how far interest rates will rise. But none of this will be resolved quickly so there’s every likelihood that 2018 will take us lower.
The Pound opens in North America this morning at USD1.3365 and EUR1.1265 with GBP/CAD at 1.7150.