Rolling coverage of the latest economic and financial news
- Latest: UK car sales fell in November
- Introduction: Sterling is rallying today
- Polls suggest Conservative win next week
- Fears of a disorderly Brexit are fading
- Coming up: Opec meeting
The pound has dipped a little since the UK car figures came out, but is still at a 31-month high against the euro at €1.184.
That’s its highest level since Theresa May held her ill-fated snap general election, when opinion polls predicted a solid Conservative win.
Sterling has been supported by investor hopes that a Conservative majority at the election will support a smooth ratification of the Withdrawal Agreement through Parliament, taking away some of the short-term uncertainty over the Brexit process.
The sole poll yesterday came last night and showed a 10pt lead for the Tories – unchanged from the previous poll and in-line with the poll of polls.
Poll averages have ground to a halt. pic.twitter.com/v9veC7LP02
Next week’s general election hasn’t helped the car industry, says Ian Plummer, commercial director at Auto Trader.
Here’s his take on the drop in car sales last month:
“Manufacturers are coming up against unprecedented cost hurdles as they take the journey towards the electrification of their fleet and also fight to hit the stringent new CO2 emissions regulations next year. Some of the biggest industry stalwarts have recently announced job losses as they look to refocus their businesses to deal with these issues. Compounding that, issues caused by Brexit continue to hinder the industry too; the unsteady value of the pound, consumer uncertainty and the ambiguity around future trading regulations only serve to amplify the enormous pressure manufacturers are under. And in the short term, both the manufacturers and their franchised retailers, still have ambitious targets to meet to reach despite these wider economic challenges.
“Brexit, and now the election, is also further dampening consumer buying confidence, making it ever-harder to sell cars.