Is there a new ‘Black Wednesday’ around the corner?

The OECD today forecast Britain was back in recession, with the economy expected to shrink by 0.1% in Q1 2012, following the 0.3% contraction in the Q4 2011.

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The OECD today forecast Britain was back in recession, with the economy expected to shrink by 0.1% in the first quarter of 2012, following the 0.3% contraction in the fourth quarter of 2011.

Double-dipThe grim news poses the question of whether a new sterling devaluation, a new ‘Black Wednesday’ around the corner, now, with investors having warned there may be one on the horizon.

The last time the UK faced a double dip in April 2011, Reuters held the spectre of a sterling crisis with all that meant for the rising costs of imports:

Sterling is very vulnerable to the outcome of the UK GDP figure later this month. This means businesses that import and export are exposed to a great deal of risk when protecting their budgeted rates in foreign exchange for the year.

If the UK does enter a double dip recession on the 27 April, the value of Sterling is likely to fall. Consumer confidence is already near record lows and will plummet further if we see the inevitable media frenzy that would accompany the news of a double dip. The result could be a decline in retail sales and higher unemployment.

However, despite avoiding a double dip last year, the economy has continued to remain weak, meaning sterling has remained vulnerable.

FX-MM magazine reported in January:

Sterling was in real danger of collapse on Thursday after the Confederation of British Industry reported the biggest annual fall in retail sales in nearly three years when Britain was last in a recession.

Meanwhile, the Seeking Alpha investor website also outlined the danger for sterling earlier this year:

The government’s economic strategy is hanging by a thread with very little room for maneuvering on fiscal policy and the UK is at the mercy of global events. Only a further small-scale shock would leave the economy in serious danger, which would also weaken sterling. Without capital controls, the inward flow of funds could turn into a debilitating exodus.

Currency levels, however, are all about relative performance, and with all major currency areas facing severe structural challenges, sterling should be able to avoid severe damage. The most likely outcome is that sterling will weaken against the dollar with a slide to below 1.50, and potentially a move to the 1.45 area during the first half of 2012.

 


See also:

Economic Update – February 2012: Double dipped 7 Feb 2012

The double-dip begins 25 Jan 2012

“We are spiralling into a prolonged and ghastly depression”: The economy in 2012 6 Jan 2012

This is the slowest recovery since the Great Depression 5 Sep 2011

Economists warn of risk of double dip following poor growth figures 25 Jan 2011


 

If we do enter a double dip, the possibilities of a new steling crisis, not seen since 1992’s ‘Black Wednesday’, have gone up.

 


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9 Responses to “Is there a new ‘Black Wednesday’ around the corner?”

  1. Patron Press - #P2

    #UK : Is there a new ‘Black Wednesday’ around the corner? //t.co/plDEoN7X

  2. roslinda

    #UK : Is there a new ‘Black Wednesday’ around the corner? //t.co/plDEoN7X

  3. Mark Stevo

    When was the last time cable hit 1.45? Oh.

  4. Kevin Richards

    Are we returning to the days of recession: Is there a new ‘Black Wednesday’ around the corner? //t.co/ZmectoQp

  5. CommonSense

    You’ve managed to ignore the entire context of Black Wednesday – we had a partially floating exchange rate, which the government poured tens of billions into and then let collapse in a single day. Um, that is not what we have now. And you also have your terms wrong. DEVALUATION is what happens when a government pushes down the relative value of a currency on purpose. DEPRECIATION is what happens when the currency of a value falls due to market forces. Given that I can’t see the government stepping in to push down the value of sterling any time soon, you are actually trying to argue that we’ll see depreciation, not devaluation.

  6. CommonSense

    Any A level economist worth their salt could have told you that.

  7. Daniel Pitt

    Is there a new ‘Black Wednesday’ around the corner? //t.co/MigXH7w4 #economy #Osbornomics #austerity #LibTories #cluelesstoffs

  8. Cormac Hollingsworth

    @Guardian headline is "Just like 1975": Could IMF return to the UK as in 76 @leftfootfwd: Black Weds around the corner? //t.co/RZ4PKg5w

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