The fall in the value of the pound versus the dollar to levels last seen in 1985 has raised concerns about a sharp decline in the value of British assets as well as a balance of payments catastrophe.
Such a scenario is seen as implausible by fund managers, experts, and previous policymakers, but they feel the pound must decline in price before investors start to flow again.
On Wednesday, the currency dropped as little as $1.1407 as investors’ anxiety over the future of the economy increased. Since early June, the value of the pound has fallen by almost 10%, a significant shift for one of the G10 currencies.
According to Goldman Sachs, the economy would shrink by 0.6% in 2023.
Liz Truss, the prime minister of Britain, is also under fire as she prepares to slash taxes and borrow additional pounds of tens of billions to maintain a freeze on consumer energy prices. On Thursday, an energy strategy is anticipated to be announced.
Despite the recent somewhat gloomy economic outlook, the market has moved quite far and very quickly. According to Charles Diebel, director of fixed income strategy at the renowned Mediolanum Asset Management, which is wagering against the pound, this indicates that there is going to be a recession, but it will be harsher in the UK.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicts that Britain will see a slowdown and more prolonged inflation compared to any other major economy in 2019.
Although the money is inexpensive, Diebel believes it could be less expensive.
Many analysts, like Mohamed El-Erian, predict that the pound will shortly reach $1.10, which would represent an additional 4% decline from current levels.
Sterling may touch its all-time low of around $1.05, which was reached in March 1985, just before the G7 countries took action to restrain the superdollar of such Reagan era with the well-known “Plaza Accord,” as per the statement by Capital Economics.
However, other global events, such as rising gas prices and concerns about global growth, have also contributed to the rush to sell British assets and led investors to seek safety in the dollar. Also reaching multi-decade lows are the euro and the yen.
Not all currency strategists are as negative, according to a survey conducted from Sept. 1 to 6. The general expectation was that sterling would rise to $1.16 in one to three months. Furthermore, neither on an exchange-sensitive basis nor relative to the euro, has sterling declined as much.
As investors fled the market, August was the lowest month ever for several UK bond values. This week saw a rise in the 10-year yield on the British government paper, reaching its highest level since 2011.
Balance of payments issues are nothing new for Britain, and devaluations of the pound have contributed to the overthrow of the Conservative Party in the past. 1992 saw a decline in the value of the pound as Britain was expelled from the European Exchange Rate Mechanism.
The balance of payments issue, according to Andrew Sentance, a former veteran of the BoE’s rate-setting board and current advisor at Cambridge Econometrics, is a thing of the past and was only important while Britain was attempting to preserve the value of its currency.
But he claimed that the BoE, which meets the following week, ought to be more worried about the decline in the value of the pound.
Everything priced in dollars has increased 14% in cash terms this year, which is an issue for inflation and puts pressure on consumers, according to him.
The future of the pound ultimately rests on whether the global situation improves and whether Truss’ economic plans can shorten the length and depth of a recession.
If inflation doesn’t decrease, tougher monetary policy should result from more expansionary fiscal policy. The pound has declined despite rising forecasts for BoE rate increases, which analysts predict will reach a peak of 4.3% by the upcoming June 2023 from the present 1.75%.
Sterling would benefit if the BoE acted more forcefully at the following few meetings, according to Sentance.