The Pound South African (GBP/ZAR) exchange rate is steady today as a drop in unemployment across the UK supports Sterling.
At the time of writing the GBP/ZAR pairing is trading at around 19.9724 as the South African Rand struggles against a further vaccine rollout delay in South Africa.
Pound (GBP) Supported by Drop in UK Unemployment
The Pound is being supported against the South African Rand today following the recent employment data release from the UK.
The data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has shown a 0.1% drop in unemployment, taking the current jobless rate down to 4.9%.
Employment Minister Mimi Davies was upbeat about the fall in unemployment saying the latest data was ‘welcome news.’
However the British Chambers of Commerce’s head of economics, Suren Thiru was more cautious about the latest data, saying:
‘The latest data confirms that the UK labour market remains subdued. While there was a marginal fall in the unemployment rate, the squeeze on activity from ongoing restrictions helped drive a decline in payroll employment in March.’
The Pound does continue to find support in the success of the UK’s vaccination rollout, with hopes that the economic reopening will continue going ahead on time.
South African Rand (ZAR) Weakens on Vaccine Rollout Concerns
Despite the upbeat global market mood, the South African Rand is struggling today as South Africa’s vaccine rollout is delayed yet again.
Following concerns over the safety of the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) one-dose vaccine, the rollout was paused, a repeat of the scenes seen with the AstraZeneca vaccine.
South Africa’s medical research council said at the end of last week that:
‘The reason it is important to recognise this extremely rare side effect is because management differs from the usual way in which clots are treated, and these serious complications could be mitigated with rapid and effective treatments.’
South Africa has so far only received a limited number of the J&J vaccine after a last minute switch due to the safety and efficiency concerns surrounding the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Though the government has ordered 31 million doses of J&J and a further 30 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine.
Pound South African Rand Exchange Rate Outlook: Inflation Data in Focus
For Pound investors, the latest inflation data from the UK for March is hoped to give an insight into how the UK’s economy is performing as lockdown restrictions are eased and the economy reopens.
UK inflation is forecast to have risen to 0.8%, an increase of 0.4% from February,
South African Rand traders will also be focused on the latest inflation data from South Africa released tomorrow, which is forecast to rise to 3.2%, up from February’s 2.9%, as the country deals with a second wave of the coronavirus.