It was a busy end to the week on Friday, with many surprises throughout the day. However, before we get onto the economic data events, we wanted to remind you, that unless No 10 decides to delay, tomorrow is the day of the meaningful vote, where MPs will decide whether to support Theresa May’s Brexit plans.
It is fair to say that much hangs in the balance, not least the value of the pound. That could have significant impacts on your budget if you’re purchasing abroad – even if it’s in several months to come.
The Nationwide housing prices growth slowed to a six-year low in November, falling by a whopping 1.4% last month. Analysts had been expecting a 0.5% increase. While high employment, wage growth and historically low mortgage rates make home ownership more affordable for many people, the need to raise a significant deposit in order to borrow from the banks is holding a lot of people back.
There was some extremely disappointing jobs data from the US, with non-farm payrolls showing 155,000 jobs were added in October. The markets had been expecting a figure of 200,000 and there is talk that although job growth remains strong, it could well have peaked. It is possible that America’s economic recovery could be slowing down – much like we have seen with the eurozone throughout 2018. After the eurozone enjoyed a fine 2017, things have certainly slowed down this year. Might the same happen to the US next year?
Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer was elected as leader of Germany’s Christian Democrats. While this does not necessarily mean she will replace Angela Merkel as German Chancellor, she is widely tipped to eventually take office when Merkel stands down. This would make Kramp-Karrenbauer the most powerful politician in Europe.
The pound weakened against the dollar and euros, falling below €1.12 once again as Brexit fears continue to weigh on the currency. As mentioned above, Theresa May is refusing to delay the vote, when it looks almost certain her plans will be defeated. It is rather a bizarre situation – delaying the vote would be seen by some as a sign of weakness, but on the other hand, if the vote goes ahead and her plans are crushed, then that arguably shows greater weakness. The Prime Minister has been stuck between a rock and a hard place for some time, but the next couple of days could be even worse for her. We shall see.
Speaking of Brexit, we published our guide to the ‘Seven Brexits’, explaining what could happen to the pound depending on what happens with Brexit. If nothing else, it helps demonstrate just how complex the situation is at present. Tomorrow’s meaningful vote result will be fascinating to watch.