GBP/EUR: Will Eurozone GDP Data Pull Euro Lower?
  • Pound (GBP) rises for a 3rd day
  • UK GDP +0.3% MoM
  • Euro (EUR) falls despite German inflation’s upward revision
  • ECB Christine Lagarde to speak

The Pound Euro (GBP/EUR) exchange rate is rising for a third straight day. The pair closed 0.34% higher in the previous session, settling on Thursday at €1.1265, after trading in a range between €1.1244 – €1.1298. At 09:15 UTC, GBP/EUR trades +0.12% at €1.1279 and is set to fall -0.36% across the week after two weeks of gains.

The pound is pushing higher after UK GDP data showed that the UK economy was stronger than expected at the start of the year UK GDP data rose 0.3% month on month after contracting 0.5% in December. Expectations had been for growth of 0.1%.

The data could help ease recession fears. While the UK economy could still contract across the first quarter, any recession is likely to be milder than initially feared.

The data is unlikely to change the debate at the Bank of England ahead of the interest rate meeting on March 23rd. Expectations are for a 25 basis point rate hike.

Also, the Treasury Secretary will unveil the UK budget next week. However, the spring budget tends to be smaller than the main autumn budget. After last Autumn’s nightmare budget from Kwasi Kwarteng, this budget is likely to be a comparably tame affair. Big tax cuts or spending increases are unlikely until the next election moves further into view.

The euro trades under pressure despite some encouraging data from the region. Spanish retail sales jumped 5.5%, well above the 0 .9% expected and the French trade balance improved considerably.

German inflation was upwardly revised in February two 1% month on month in line with January but up from the preliminary reading of 0.8%.

The data comes ahead of the ECB interest rate decision next week, where the central bank is widely expected to hike rates by 50 basis points.

Later today, ECB president Christine Lagarde is due to speak. Her comments will be scrutinized for clues as to the future path of rate hikes.