GBP EUR Unmoved with Unemployment, Furlough Talk

GBP EUR Consolidates Ahead of Key Economic Data

The GBP EUR exchange rate was flat on Tuesday after a mixed employment report. The IMF also told the UK to consider reintroducing the furlough scheme. Thursday will bring the Bank of England interest rate meeting, so the day ahead is also likely to be quiet.

The GBP EUR was trading at 1.1700 after the employment figures.

UK sees a record 257k rise in payrolled workers

As we said yesterday, the GBP v EUR would likely struggle to get a lift from a positive employment report as the new restrictions loom.

Boris Johnson is facing his biggest rebellion yet, with around 75 Tory party members set to vote against his new restrictions today. However, with Labour’s support, the Plan B restrictions are likely to go ahead.

Britain’s jobs market saw another improvement as the number of payrolled workers jumped by a record 257k last month, according to official figures.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said there is “still no sign” that the end of the furlough scheme in September has affected the jobs market. The number of UK workers on payrolls rose by 0.9% to November to 29.4 million.

The unemployment rate was also lower at 4.2%, which is the lowest since Spring of 2020.

Despite this, the government reaction to the new variant is likely to damage the employment picture and the IMF has advised a return to furlough.

The IMF suggested “a furlough scheme and targeted support to the most vulnerable households and small businesses” in the event of a virus outbreak.

“We do not expect the need to return either to the full lockdowns we have seen or the policy support of the kind that this type of lockdown requires.”

Teesside chosen for Europe’s largest battery plant

Brexit Britain was boosted by news that Teesside will be home to Europe’s largest battery plant.

Singapore based Sembcorp Industries have announced the plans, which will be run by its UK subsidiary Sembcorp Energy UK (SEUK). Once the project is complete the latest battery will have a capacity of 360MW.

The firm has said that the new battery units will be able to supply power to the national grid in milliseconds with the aim of supporting a stable energy system on route to net zero transition.

Efficient storage has been recognised as a key problem to solve in supporting the shift to new technologies such as wind and hydroelectric, with batteries playing a vital role in the supply picture.

Andy Koss, CEO of UK & Middle East, Sembcorp Industries, said: “Now, more than ever, flexible energy sources play an increasingly important role in maintaining secure and reliable energy supplies.

“With a growing reliance on renewables, the UK energy system needs to be flexible and able to respond quickly to changes.”

Projects like these should shelter the UK from the chaos seen in gas markets this year and will also help to provide energy self-sufficiency. Europe is currently at the whim of Russian supply, while they trade hostile barbs over Ukraine.