As most parts of the UK enjoyed glorious weather for the long Easter weekend, the European Union leaders granted the UK a six-month extension to Brexit. The new deadline is 31st October although Theresa May, who wanted a shorter delay, said the UK would still aim to leave the EU as soon as possible. The UK must now hold European elections in May, or leave on 1st June without a deal.
The FTSE 100 Index closed April at 7,418.22, which was 1.9% higher than the March closing level. Similarly, in the US, the Dow Jones 30 enjoyed growth of 2.6%, ending April at 26,592.91.
In terms of currency, £ Sterling ended April at 1.30 US Dollars. This was in line with the closing figure at the end of March. It was a similar story against the Euro as £ Sterling ended April at 1.16 Euros, which was 0.2% higher than the March closing figure.
Inflation, as measured by the Consumer Prices Index including owner occupiers’ housing costs (CPIH), was 1.8% in March 2019 (this is March’s data which is reported in April). This was unchanged from the previous month. The 12-month rate for the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) rate which excludes owner occupied housing costs and council tax was 1.9% in March 2019, which was also unchanged.
The Bank of England maintained interest rates at 0.75% in April following the increase in August last year.