The GBP/AUD exchange rate was 0.73% higher on Friday after the UK economy recovered to its pre-pandemic levels. The economy grew by 0.9% in November, trouncing analysts’ expectations for 0.4%. In Australia, truck driver shortages are causing supply chain issues for supermarkets, and it is also starting to impact the wider economy due to fuel delivery issues.
The GBP to AUD rate closed the week at 1.8948 after seeing new highs for last week near 1.9000.
The UK back at pre-pandemic economic growth rates
The UK economy has recovered to its pre-pandemic levels, according to data from the ONS last week.
The latest figures showed that growth in November was 0.9%, with analysts expecting only 0.4%.
The British economy is now 0.7% larger than March 2020, before the first lockdown. The UK joins the US, France, Denmark, and Germany amongst the major economies to have recovered the losses.
Economists expect the month to be a peak as it was followed by the plan B restrictions and also the staff shortages caused by worker isolation through the Omicron variant. November was boosted by early Christmas shoppers, but gains were seen in manufacturing and construction also.
The British Chambers of Commerce said of the economy:
“Stronger growth in November is likely to be followed by a modest fall in output in December and January. While the UK economy should rebound once Plan B measures are lifted, surging inflation and persistent supply chain disruption may mean that the UK’s economic growth prospects remain under pressure for much of 2022”.
UK cases of the variant have continued to fall with the country seeing 81,000 cases on Saturday. The figures also represent a 33% drop in figures over the last seven days. Dr. Chris Smith said that 98% of the country now has antibodies to the virus and that shows “great cause for optimism”.
The UK economy will see the release of UK consumer prices and employment this week with the number of jobs added predicted to be 128k after 149k last month.
The Aussie economy was hit by truck driver shortages due to variant
A shortage of truck drivers is one of the key problems with unions saying that up to 50% of drivers are side-lined at some companies.
The Australasian Convenience and Petroleum Marketers Association is also warning of looming fuel shortages due to the lack of drivers. Some petrol stations have reduced operating hours, while others have shut down.
With case numbers still at record highs, the situation could cause real damage to the Australian economy at the outset of 2022.
Mark McKenzie of the ACPMA said it was also causing problems for other industries:
“It’s more about the transport and the retailing of the fuel, so the general distribution to service stations, but also key industries like freight operators, mining, agriculture, mining, manufacturing.”
Supermarkets have also suffered the same fate with worker shortages and that is leading to food shortages on shelves.
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