This Week in Brexit: The Economy

Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce

There were more positive noises on the post-referendum economy this week:

Pound Sterling

It was the Euro and European Central Bank (EBC) monetary policy that hit the news this week.

The Euro was up against the pound and dollar on Thursday, following an ECB meeting where no fresh stimulatory measures were announced. This has led some commentators to express fresh concerns about the direction of the Euro Zone economy and whether the ECB is has now played all of its policy cards.

On Thursday the Pound closed down 0.5% against the Euro at €1.1810 and down 0.3% against the Dollar at $1.3299.

FTSE 100 & FTSE 250

Continuing its positive, post-referendum performance the FTSE 100 closed 12 points up on Thursday. The big winner of the day was Micro Focus, entering the FTSE 100 for the first time following a £6.6bn deal with Hewlett Packard Enterprise.

British Airlines Owner International Consolidated Airlines also fared well, as did Dixons Carphone who reported “no detectable impact” from the Brexit vote.

The FTSE 250 also had a good day on Thursday, closing 0.7% up.

Other Announcements

On Monday the Markit/CIPS Purchasing Managers Index revealed that the services sector grew in August. The Index rose from 47.4 in July to 52.9 in August, with anything over 50 representing growth.

On Wednesday Mark Carney stated to the Treasury Select Committee that he is “absolutely serene” about Bank of England policy pre- and post-referendum.

On Thursday the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveys reported that the housing market had settled down after the “initial surprise” of the referendum result. Its members predict that house prices will increase by 3.3% a year on average for the next five years.

This Week at the Chambers

This week, we’ve been busily working away on the final stages of data collection for our Quarterly Business Report Survey. Closing COP Monday (12th September), this survey will be the first since the referendum and a strong indicator of how local businesses are really feeling on the ground. Don’t forget to take part here and join us at our report launch event on the 11th October to hear the latest results.

On Monday we revealed the West Midlands results of a British Chambers of Commerce survey on employing EU nationals post-referendum. We called on the Government to provide immediate certainty for both businesses and employees on the residence rights of existing EU employees. In the West Midlands, 37 per cent of West Midlands businesses who employ EU workers report that they have had employees expressing uncertainty over future residency status (read our press release here).

Carrying on with our Summer of Export Support campaign we have a whole raft of opportunities available for globally minded businesses. We’ve got everything from trade missions to a diverse range of locations from Switzerland to Toronto to a training session on Ecommerce for International Trade and transatlantic networking closer to home. You can view all of our International Trade related events here.