UK inflation was weaker than expected in February easing some of the squeeze on households' spending power but doing little to change bets on a Bank of England rate rise in May. Official data showed consumer prices rose by an annual 2.7% last month, the weakest increase since July of last year and down from a rise of 3.0% in January.
The Bank of England (BOE) held interest rates at the record low level of 0.25% and maintained asset purchases at £435 billion on Thursday. The decision, which was made by an 8-1 majority, had been almost unanimously anticipated by central bank watchers with many expecting the BOE to choose caution until more clarity emerges on the Brexit process and the U.K. economy's capacity to manage outside of the European Union.
Strong consumer spending helped the UK's economy to grow faster than expected at the end of last year. The economy grew by 0.6% in the October-to-December period, the same rate as in the previous two quarters, according to an initial estimate from the Office for National Statistics.
The British government published on Thursday draft legislation that will allow the UK to start the process of leaving the EU. The European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill has been produced after the Supreme Court ruled legislation would be necessary.
Many travelers buying foreign currency at the UK's airports are now receiving less than one Euro to the pound, reports the BBC. The continued fall in sterling's value means that the average rate available at 17 airport bureaux de change is now just 99 euro cents to the pound. The worst rate is currently 88 Euro cents at Moneycorp at Southampton airport and the best is €1.06 from the Change Group at Glasgow Prestwick.
United Kingdom´s Leave victory did not come as a great surprise, since the race was too tight, but that was the decision of the people and the economy is large and strong, admitted British ambassador in Uruguay, Ben Lyster-Binns, in a television interview.
The UK has voted on Thursday, 23 June, to leave the European Union after 43 years in a historic referendum. Leave won by 51,9% to 48,1% with England and Wales voting strongly for Brexit, while London, Scotland and Northern Ireland backed staying in the EU.
Legendary investor George Soros has warned of serious consequences for British jobs and finances if the country leaves the EU. Writing in The Guardian, he said sterling would decline precipitously if the Leave camp won Thursday's vote.