In recent weeks the value of the pound has gone down. The government’s cost of borrowing money has gone up.
Maybe the authorities are happy with the first of these changes. They are keen to create more money. That is always likely to lower its value. The pound has fallen from $1.63 to $1.56, and has also fallen against the Euro.
The authorities will see this as evidence that the Quantitative Easing is working. They might also hope it will lower imports and boost exports. Last time the devaluation tended to boost profits more than the volumes of exports, as some companies took the advantage of the devaluation with higher prices rather than volumes of exports.
The danger is that a further devaluation can boost inflation. Ever since the crisis hit, private sector incomes have been falling once adjusted for rising prices. Inflation has ben higher in the Uk than in Japan, Germany and the USA. As we import such a large proportion of our needs, we are vulnerable to a falling currency. It makes things dearer and cuts the value of our pay.
The authorities are probably not so happy with the rise in the cost of government borrowing. Despite the large bond buying programmes of the Bank of England, the cost of ten year money for the state has gone up from 1.5% to 2.1%. It’s still a low figure by historic standards, but it is a 40 % rise in the interest cost. As the state still plans large deficits for the next couple of years, and has record levels of debt outstanding, this is a problem to watch carefully. On £1.1 trillion of debt every 1% increase in the borrowing rate matters as the debt comes to be refinanced at higher rates.