GBP EUR Dips Ahead of UK Employment Figures

GBP EUR Higher After French Economy Shrinks

The GBP EUR exchange rate dropped -0.23% on Monday and will await today’s UK employment figures for direction. The markets are expecting a small addition of 5k jobs in the UK workforce after last month’s 10k. Hirers may be pulling back as costs rise for business owners. The EU commission has cut expectations for European growth in its latest figures.

The GBP to EUR was trading at the 1.17520 level after a bounce from 1.1600 last week.

European Commission cuts growth forecasts for Europe

The European Commission has lowered its 2023 growth forecast for the euro area to 2.3% amid Russia’s war on Ukraine.

“Real GDP growth in both the EU and the euro area is now expected at 2.7% in 2022 and 2.3% in 2023, down from 4.0% and 2.8% (2.7% in the euro area), respectively, in the Winter 2022 interim forecast,” the commission said in its latest report.

The Commission expects eurozone consumer inflation will ease to 2.7% next year after hitting 6.1% in 2022 due to higher commodity prices, above the European Central Bank’s target. In the EU, annual consumer inflation is expected to average an all-time high of 6.8% this year, before declining to 3.2% in 2023.

The EU unemployment rate is also expected to decline further, to 6.7% this year and 6.5% in 2023.

“People fleeing the war in Ukraine to the EU are expected to enter labor markets gradually, with tangible effects only from next year,” the group added.

The commission expects that the eurozone budget deficit will fall to 3.7% of gross domestic product in 2022 from 5.1%, with a further decrease to 2.5% next year.

Johnson says Covid and cost of living boost case for protocol overhaul

Boris Johnson was in Belfast to discuss the Northern Ireland protocol and said he did not want to scrap the deal.

Writing in the Belfast Telegraph, he said that he wanted “sensible” changes agreed with the EU.

“Many things have changed since the protocol was agreed. It was designed in the absence of a Trade and Cooperation Agreement and when it was unclear one would be agreed. It was designed before a global pandemic and a European war which has created a cost of living crisis on a scale not seen for half a century,” he said.

“For the chancellor of the exchequer to say in his spring statement that people in Northern Ireland could not be granted the same benefits in terms of tax and VAT as those in the rest of the same country is a serious issue,” the PM added.

His words will encourage investors that the UK can avoid retaliatory moves by the EU if the UK were to scrap the protocol with the issue dragging on for months.

Johnson also congratulated the new First Minister, saying:

“And I think it is testimony to the path that Sinn Fein have taken from 1998 that Michelle O’Neill is now awarded the position of First Minister. I have no doubt we will work together well.”

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