Pound steady as pressure on household finances eases

<p>The pound has held its ground as Markit’s HFI indicates household finance pressure has eased.</p>

The pressure on household finances has eased this month, which may have helped the pound to stabilise in forex trading today (November 19th).

According to the Markit Household Finance Index (HFI), which is compiled to anticipate changing consumer behaviour, November's reading is 39.3 – which is higher than October's 39.0.

This is still far lower than the neutral benchmark of 50, but Markit's HFI figure has climbed for five out of the last six months, which is a positive sign.

Furthermore, pressure on savings is at its lowest since May 2010 and the squeeze on cash availability continues to soften.

However, job insecurities persisted this month and the degree of negative sentiment has worsened slightly in the last few weeks, while 40 per cent of households believe their finances will worsen over the year to come.

At 11:25 GMT, the pound was steady versus the dollar and euro, rising by 0.2 per cent versus the former to £1 buying $1.591 and holding against the latter at €1.245.

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