The British pound sterling has risen markedly against the US dollar. The current quote in GBPUSD is 1.2164. The UK released employment sector statistics on Tuesday. The unemployment rate in January held steady at 3.7% against expectations of an increase to 3.8%. Average payrolls for the 3 months ending in January rose 5.7% (in line with expectations) following an earlier increase of 6.0%. The number of claims for unemployment benefits in February fell by 11,200 after a previous decrease of 30,300. The forecast was for an increase of 12,500.
The statistics look good even though UK businesses have to stay ahead of the curve' and keep wages high in the face of outside pressures. On the one hand, companies can still compete for labour by raising wages. On the other hand, they are successfully resisting the influence of politicians who insist that this is a clear pro-inflationary factor.
The UK would greatly benefit from a trade agreement signed by Northern Ireland. But so far there has been silence. The pound looks good, but mainly at the expense of a weakening USD position.