The United Kingdom is facing higher inflation rates in comparison to other Western countries such as the United States, Germany, France, and Italy, which is putting additional pressure on the Bank of England (BoE). As a result, the BoE is expected to increase interest rates by 25 basis points next month. In contrast, the eurozone’s inflation rate has slightly decreased to 6.9% last month from 8.5%, according to the latest figures released on Wednesday.
Despite the global drop in wholesale food prices, UK supermarkets have not reduced their prices. Inflation was anticipated to fall below 10% last month, but it fell less than expected due to surging food prices. Inflation decreased to 10.1% in the year to March from 10.4% in February, driven by food prices rising at their fastest rate in 45 years. The war in Ukraine has driven up food prices worldwide, but the UK is also facing other challenges, including Brexit.
On Wednesday, British finance minister Jeremy Hunt stated that inflation running above 10% destabilizes the economy, and the government has a plan to bring it down.
Gold prices have remained elevated, possibly due to growing concerns about a potential economic recession, which may be enhancing the safe-haven appeal of bullion.
Additionally, there are indications in the Fed Beige Book that the Federal Reserve could consider halting its cycle of interest rate hikes after the May meeting. However, despite this, money market pricing suggests that expectations still point towards another rate hike in June.
The most recent minutes from the European Central Bank reveal that a significant majority of voting members were in agreement to increase rates by 50 basis points.
Looking towards the upcoming week, the direction of the single currency will be influenced by various data releases. Crucial information regarding employment, economic growth, and inflation from Germany will be made available throughout the week, each of which have the potential to significantly impact the market
Despite fluctuations, the EUR/USD has maintained an upward trend since March, gaining momentum from the dollar index weakness.