UK ETFs benefit from reopening momentum
UK country-specific exchange-traded funds rally as UK economy reopens and attempts to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.
the IShares MSCI UK ETF (NYSEArca: EWU) is up 15.8% year-to-date and is up 26.8% in the past year, trading above pre-pandemic levels.
Bank of England Deputy Governor Jon Cunliffe said on Friday the UK was enjoying a strong economic rebound as COVID restrictions were lifted, but pubs and restaurants were still recovering faster than downtown retail segments, Reuters reports.
“What we are seeing is a strong rebound in activity,” Cunliffe told BBC Radio Suffolk.
“People have racked up a lot of savings, they are going out and they are spending, especially in the areas where we haven’t been able to get out in the last year,” he added.
The recovery of the UK economy after the pandemic could be stronger than expected. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development forecast the UK to grow 7.2% in 2021, an improvement from its previous March projection of 5.1%. The new growth estimates are also expected to be the fastest among large rich countries, according to the OECD.
The OECD has also raised its expectations for global growth to 5.8%, against 4.2% previously forecast in December.
British Chancellor Rishi Sunak attributed the improved forecast to the successful deployment of the Covid-19 vaccine in the country, as well as the government’s plan for jobs. However, he warned that with debt at nearly 100% of GDP, it was necessary to “ensure that public finances remain on a secure footing”.
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