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Brexit Update

Britain’s vote to leave the EU, one of the most significant political and economic shifts of many a generation, has heralded a period of uncertainty both in the UK and across the globe.

The initial response to the ‘out’ vote was alarming, although not unexpected, with the FTSE falling 8% in the first few days and the Pound also falling markedly with an exchange rate of £1.19 vs the Euro and £1.32 vs. the Dollar. Since ‘Brexit’ there has been a sharp fall in confidence across the UK business community, as reflected in the recent Purchasing Managers Index which has dipped to a low of 47.7, a level not seen since April 2009 when we were in the teeth of the financial crises.

Ironically, this pessimism is not reflected across all economic measures with the FTSE 100 bouncing back from those initial losses and now trading at its highest level since the summer of 2015. One explanation for this might be the growing belief that Article 50, the mechanism to trigger the UK leaving the EU, will not be triggered until early 2017 at the earliest, underlined by the new Prime Minister, Theresa May, in a recent speech. So in some senses it is business as usual for the moment, and the City tends to take a rather short-term view of events.

What is clear is that the economic flux will continue, with other events such as upcoming US Presidential Elections, likely to also have a significant bearing on the UK, European and Global economy as a whole.