SPAIN: AT BREAKING POINT? A political and economic analysis for 2013 IBERIANS OF THE YEAR: The most influential people and groups of 2012


| Category: Expats | |

Pound to euro hits 22-month high despite UK recession

The pound hit its highest point against the euro in 22 months this week, in spite of the fact that the UK re-entered recession.


Here is my latest update of the British pound to euro exchange rate, covering the 20th to 27th April 2012. This is intended as a brief guide to what’s affected the exchange rate this past week as well as what might happen next, to help you decide if now is the best time for you to change currencies.

Pound to euro:

+0.66% weekly increase.
1.2293 (1.2212 a week ago.)

+2.79% monthly increase.
1.2293 (1.196 a month ago.)

This week:

1. The pound held at its highest rate against the euro in 22 months this week, in spite of the fact that the UK officially re-entered recession. If nothing else, this reflects just how low confidence is in the euro right now.

2. Francois Hollande won the first round of the French presidential election, stoking fears off a showdown between him and Angela Merkel as he criticises the austerity-led approach.

3. The Dutch government collapsed over disagreements about spending cuts, lending further strength to the idea that an austerity backlash is making its way across Europe.

4. Credit ratings agency Standard & Poor’s slashed its Spanish rating, turning attention once again to the dire economic straits in which Spain finds itself. This contributed to euro weakness.

It’s not the first time I’ve made this comment, but right now the financial markets are about who’s doing least worst, rather than choosing the actual best place to put funds. Hence, in spite of the fact that the UK entered its first double-dip recession since 1975, the pound in fact gained against the euro this week, closing in on the symbolic 1.23 point.

This is because, though George Osborne evidently couldn’t manage his way out of a paper bag, tensions in the eurozone escalated once again this week, as French presidential candidate Francois Hollande took fire at German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s austerity-dominated approach to the crisis. Of course, the Franco-German alliance is the engine of Eurozone growth, meaning that this conflict has put the future direction of the continent into doubt. Hence the weakening euro.

Next week:

1. The second round of the French presidential election is held next Sunday, meaning we’ll find out then if Mrs. Merkel must contend with a more growth-oriented President Hollande.

2. The crisis in Spain will continue to fester in the background, as recent figures put unemployment at a horrendous 24.0%.

3. The latest German manufacturing figures are released, which Mrs. Merkel will hope reveal a pick-up from the recent contraction. This too might boost the euro.

4. The latest UK services data is released which, accounting for about 70.0% of UK output, will need to be impressive if the UK is to make short work of its present recession.

I will of course return with my next update next week.

If you have any questions about changing currencies or transferring money abroad in the meantime, don’t hesitate to leave a reply in the box below. I’d be delighted to provide an in-depth personal answer to your enquiry, free of charge.

Related stories:


Abaco Connect

Pure FX

Peter Lavelle is an economist at foreign exchange broker Pure FX. For a free no-obligation quote regarding changing currencies, get in touch at foreign exchange specialist Pure FX.

Copyright: Peter Lavelle, Pure FX
Category: Expats
Short URL:
You can follow any responses to this entry via RSS 2.0
Tags: , , , , , , ,

5 Comments for “Pound to euro hits 22-month high despite UK recession”

  1. Hi Peter,

    Many thanks for your analysis.

    How do you see the pound vs the Canadian dollar over the next 6-12 months? the exchange used to be $2 for £1. Now, you get $1.60ish for £1. Any chance to see the pound getting stronger ?

    I look forward to reading your analysis.

    Keep up the good work!

    Best regards,


  2. I keep watching mesmerized the relentless rise in the pound. I guess the Uk’s dwindling band of manufacturing exporters will be chaffed by the news. I expect a post-olympic bust.

  3. Hi Peter, So as I need to transfer GBP to Euros ove the next month, would you advise me to wait till next weekend to see if Holland is elected? It seems this may lead to a better rate for me. I just did a fist transfer at 1.22. Not bad, but would like better!

Leave a comment

Connect with Facebook

Recently Commented

  • Iñaki: Great post! But only because it goes to show that both men and women...
  • Candide: Let my reply with yesterday’s entry in my blog. I’m...
  • Sergi: Let me share what one of Merkel’s advisers decleared two days...
  • Iain Salisbury: Sigh!
  • Xavier Grustan Briansó: After reading your article, I just have to strongly...