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Strength of the Pound Sterling: Economy and Investment

Published Thursday, November 10, 2016

This House of Lords Library briefing has been prepared in advance of a debate that is scheduled to take place in the House on 17 November 2016 on the impact of the level of sterling on the economy and investment.

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The International Monetary Fund describe the UK’s currency exchange as free-floating. Under such a system the value of a given currency is the result of a set of complex relationships between economic conditions and market forces. Consequently, the value of the pound has always fluctuated against other currencies in response to these forces. Following the result of the UK’s referendum on its membership of the EU, the value of the pound against both the US dollar and the euro fell markedly. The exchange rate of the pound against the US dollar and the euro has continued to fluctuate. A weakened pound has several implications for various aspects of the UK economy, notably imports and exports and the price of goods and services.

Daily Spot Exchange Rate between Pound Sterling and the US Dollar and the Euro, 4 November 2015 to 4 November 2016

Exchange Rate between Pound Sterling and US Dollar and Euro

(Source: Bank of England, ‘Spot Exchange Rates; XUDLERS and XUDLUSS’, accessed 4 November 2016)

This briefing presents information from the International Monetary Fund on different ways in which currency exchange systems can be classified. It then provides recent data on the value of the pound and commentary and analysis on the implications this has for aspects of the UK economy.

Lords Library notes LLN-2016-0058

Author: Charley Coleman

Topics: Economic situation, International economic relations, International trade

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House of Lords Library

The House of Lords Library delivers research and information services to Members and staff of the House in support of parliamentary business.