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Pound euro exchange rate: GBP muted against EUR despite upturn in UK GDP growth

This morning, the pound has slipped slightly against the euro, and the pairing is currently trading at around €1.159. The release of the UK’s Q4 2018 GDP figure showed that on a quarterly basis, GDP rose in line with expectations. Quarterly GDP rose by 0.2 per cent, with the growth driven by the dominant services sector. While annual GDP rose by a better-than-expected 1.4 per cent, this was the lowest annual growth since 2012.

At the same time, the euro rose against the pound following the release of better-than-expected German retail sales.

The positive news was welcomed by euro backers, as the figures revealed a sales rise by 0.9 per cent in February against an expected fall.

The largest economy in the Eurozone received further positive news later in the morning, as March’s unemployment rate dipped to 4.9 per cent from the previous 5 per cent. 

The start of the session saw UK GfK consumer confidence hold steady at -13 in March despite the political uncertainty caused by Brexit.

However, further declines in the index are expected over the coming months. 

Commenting on the data, Joe Staton, Client Strategy Director at GfK said: “Consumer confidence has held steady this month at minus 13, despite political chaos and ensuing uncertainty as we try to find our rightful place within Europe.

“However, while UK consumers report a small increase in optimism for their personal finance situation for the coming year, the index is being dragged down by our nagging fears for the general economy.”

Looking ahead to later today, Prime Minister Theresa May is going to attempt once again to get MPs to back her Brexit withdrawal agreement.

MPs will vote on Mrs May’s deal, with ministers stating that support for this is vital if the UK is to avoid a disorderly Brexit.

If the vote passes it would secure a delay to 22 May, however the PM faces opposition from the Labour party who have said they will vote against it.

It seems likely the pound will rise against the euro if Mrs May is able to obtain the support needed for her deal to be passed in the House of Commons. 

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