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U.K. Consumer Spending Growth Cools to Weakest in Almost Two Years

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UK Consumers
  • U.K. Consumer Spending Growth Cools to Weakest in Almost Two Years

U.K. household spending grew at the slowest pace in almost two years last month as freezing weather kept shoppers at home.

Annual consumption growth slowed to 2 percent, the weakest since April 2016, Barclaycard said in a report on Tuesday. Spending in stores fell 1.9 percent as Britons opted for online shopping as the “Beast from the East” snowstorm engulfed the country.

A separate survey by the British Retail Consortium found modest sales growth in a “volatile” March. The industry group said that despite the extreme cold, the early timing of Easter helped bolster sales toward the end of the month.

Consumer spending power has been damped by inflation from the pound’s slide following the 2016 Brexit vote, yet there are some signs of optimism, with Barclaycard finding confidence in household finances at the highest level since October.

“It seems consumers have become accustomed to adjusting their budget and as a result are more confident in their own finances,” said Paul Lockstone, managing director at Barclaycard, which processes nearly half of the nation’s credit and debit-card transactions. “While there are bright spots, however, it’s important to note that a sense of caution still remains.”

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Forex

Transparent Exchange Rate Can Boost Nigeria’s Forex Inflow

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Transparent Exchange Rate Can Improve Nigeria’s Diaspora Forex Inflow

Experts that gathered at a virtual summit organised by Ecobank Nigeria with a theme, ‘Financial Services & Remittance Solutions for Nigerians in Diaspora: Leveraging Ecobank’s Pan-African offering’, have said Nigeria can boost foreign exchange inflow through proper engagement and a transparent exchange rate.

Mr. Patrick Akinwuntan, Managing Director of Ecobank Nigeria, in his opening speech, said growing evidence has shown that diaspora remittances were positively impacting economies of various nations in the world.

Akinwuntan put the total annual remittances to Nigeria at around $20 billion per year, saying it boosts the nation’s foreign exchange earnings.

Speaking on how these remittances can be sustained, he said constant engagement with Nigerians abroad is imperative and it is the reason Ecobank is leveraging its digital technology through Rapidtransfer App and Ecobank mobile App to ensure affordable and easy transfer of funds by Nigerians abroad to their home country.

“Our dedicated Rapidtransfer, mobile remittance app is a game-changer for the market. It enables Africans and indeed Nigerians wherever they are to easily and instantly send money to bank accounts, mobile wallets and cash collection in – and across – 33 African countries.

“Historically, the cost of sending cross-border remittances to Africa has been far too high at about 6%-7%. Similarly, the process to send funds has long been inefficient and burdensome, with customers typically needing to go physically to an agent sometimes late in the night or in poor weather with attendant discomfort and risks.

“The Rapidtransfer app remittance solution is a quick, easy and reliable digital solution that removes all of these issues. It is indeed a game-changer for Nigerians and all Africans with its sustainable and standout affordability,” he said.

Speaking on transaction charges, the Ecobank Managing Director said transfer fee range from zero to about 3 percent as compared to 6 – 7 percent charge elsewhere.

He added that the bank’s instant transfer and transparent exchange rate is a unique factor its competitors do not possess.

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Naira to Dollar Rate Today: Naira Exchanges at N463 to Dollar on Black Market

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Naira to Dollar Rate on Black Market Today Stood at N463

The Nigerian Naira to dollar rate slid slightly against the United States dollar on Tuesday on the black market as social unrest continues to weigh on the nation’s economic outlook.

The local currency lost N1 against the US dollar to N463 while against the British pound it remains pressured at N592.

This decline continues against the European Union’s common currency, the Euro. The Naira traded at N540 to a single Euro on the black market.

Naira to dollar rate plunged amid rising economic uncertainties and unclear policy path caused by both COVID-19 and government limited fiscal buffers to cushion the negative impacts of the virus on Africa’s largest economy.

This coupled with the ongoing social unrest by the Nigerian youths to force decorum across the Nigerian Police Force and call global attention to decades of systemic intimidation and harassment of innocent citizens.

The Nigerian Stock Exchange has been closing flat since Thursday and continued this week, suggesting that investors are concerns and wary of eventualities as they look to safeguard their investments.

Again, the projected third-quarter recession, low foreign revenue generation, weak consumer spending and the rising cost of living are some of the factors hurting the Nigerian Naira outlook.

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Naira to a Dollar Exchange Rate Dips to N462 at Black Market Amid Social Unrest

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Youth Protests Weigh on Naira to a Dollar Exchange Rate on Black Market

The ongoing youth protest in Nigeria continues to weigh on the economic outlook and investors’ sentiment across the board.

The Nigerian Naira to a US dollar exchange rate declined by N1 from N461 on Tuesday to N462 on Wednesday and in the early hours of Thursday at the black market.

Against the British Pounds, the Naira exchanged at N600, down from the N592 it traded on Tuesday. This decline continues against Europe’s common currency as the Naira dipped against the Euro by N2 from N538 to N540 on the black market.

The nationwide protest by the Nigerian youth to curb police brutality and harassment on daily basis continues to disrupt business activities in Africa’s largest economy.

Nigerian youths are saying enough is enough after the death of several youths by the law enforcement agency, Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), that was constituted to curb robbery but gone rogue and made extortions, harassments and in some cases killing of innocent citizens their means of livelihood.

Despite the government disbanding the unit and promise to redeploy officers to other existing units, commands and formations, the youths are saying they want a total discharge of corrupt officers and the entire reform of the Nigerian Police Force (NPF) before they will even consider backing down on the ongoing protest, especially after politicians started sponsoring thugs to attack peaceful protesters in Lagos and Abuja.

The Nigerian Stock Exchange closed flat on Wednesday amid rising uncertainty surrounding the government’s ability to de-escalate the situation given the fact that the youths no longer trust the administration or Nigerian government.

The Naira remained weak against global counterparts and expected to plunge further once the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) release third-quarter Gross Domestic Product (GDP) report expected by many experts to plunge the nation into its second recession in four years.

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