4 Bank Forecasts for the British Pound in 2020

Forecasts for the British Pound vary from bank to bank and from month to month. This article looks at the general trend in the GBP forecast and how it might impact your home currency.

British Pound Forecast 2020

With the coronavirus pandemic and a global recession likely underway, most bank analysts predict the Pound Sterling will remain weak against the US Dollar.

The debate is now focusing on how deep the recession will be and long it will last, which means the GBP will continue to suffer against other currencies.

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Updated in March 2020

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British Pound forecast in 2019

For the rest of 2019, most bank analysts predict the pound sterling will get weaker. Generally speaking, banks expect the rate to decline towards 1.2000 in December from current levels of 1.2800.

 

Will the GBP/USD get stronger in 2020?

Unlikely.

Let's examine the 5 most likely reasons the British Pound will remain weak at current forecast levels:

  • Coronavirus pandemic worsens in the UK, increases pressure on public health systems and panic ensues
  • A prolonged global recession underway could mean less trade and lower demand for British imports, weaker local economy
  • The UK economy slows down and inflation only slowly and gradually picks up, increasing the chance of interest rate cuts
  • A Brexit deal isn't met, worries escalate, devaluing the British Pound against other currencies
  • The US economy picks up as coronavirus is controlled, US economic stimulus works and the Federal Reserve (central bank) increases interest rates, supporting the USD

How does a weaker British Pound affect me?

Expats and Pensioners

A weaker pound is disastrous for British people living abroad. Many who have moved overseas will see a dramatic fall in spending power. However, the GBP could improve in 2020.

For pensioners, many who have retired abroad will see a dramatic fall in the spending power of any UK state or private pension income with a weaker Sterling.

A couple years ago £100 pounds would have gotten you $200 in Australia, one of the most popular retirement destinations for British expats. But now the same £100 pounds of income will only return $172 Australian dollars, almost 15% less.

If you’re in a hurry to sell your UK asset, such as a house or company, to support your lifestyle overseas, you might get more interest from foreign buyers with a weaker pound. While you’ll get more demand for your asset, you might not get the value you want from the sale.

British Pound Forecast 2020
British Pound Forecast 2020

Travellers

It’s not really a good time for Brits to go abroad, but if the pound does improve slightly in 2020 it might be ok to do some summer travel.

Holidays in Europe and elsewhere are currently still painfully expensive, which means the idea of a staycation holiday closer to home might be more tempting during the winter months.

Foreign tourists visiting the UK will benefit from a weak GBP. So UK tourist attractions and anything associated with the leisure industry, such as restaurants and hotels will do well. Working in these industries will certainly be beneficial.

AUD to GBP Exchange Rate Calculator

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What are the key influences on the GBP?

1. British (UK) Economy

The UK is growing – but really slowly. This means the Pound Sterling is unlikely to rise strongly. Many were predicting a drastic economic collapse after the UK left the European Union (Brexit), but this hasn’t happened. Needless to say, many are unclear on what will happen next – and this uncertainty is negative for the GBP.

 

2. Politics

British politics has a big influence on the Pound. When the UK left the European Union in 2016, many people questioned whether the UK would be better off, which created much uncertainty. Greater uncertainty from politics means investors will sell the GDP, because there is a greater chance of it getting weaker.

British Pound Forecast 2020

3. Other Currencies

The US dollar (USD) significantly influences the GBP. Generally, when the USD gets stronger, the GBP is relatively weaker and vice versa. Interestingly, the pound sterling is one of the relatively few currencies that is worth more than the US dollar (meaning that one pound buys more than one dollar).

British Pound bank forecast currency pairs

GBP to EUR forecast

Major banks agree the GBPEUR will rise in the first half of 2020. But this might change with latest negative releases of British economic data.

GBP to AUD forecast

Banks are expecting the Pound Sterling to strengthen against the Australian Dollar in 2020, as Britain actively manages its exit from the Eurozone. However, there could be hiccups along the way.

GBP to NZD forecast

Right now, bank analysts agree the New Zealand Dollar will continue to come under greater downward pressure compared to the British Pound next year.

Where to find the best GBP cash rate

In Australia, the best cash rates are found in major cities. We regularly check the main money changers in each CBD to find out the best forex exchange rates for British Pounds in town.

How to track down the best cash rate

You can either walk around to each money changer, try and call each one and check their rate or you can use our city and suburb guides:

Compare international money transfer exchange rates

General advice: The information on this site is of a general nature only. It does not take your specific needs or circumstances into consideration. You should look at your own personal situation and requirements before making any financial decisions.