Wednesday, 18th October: Humanity prevails, as President Trump’s third attempt to enforce a travel ban has been blocked once again. Embassies and consulates from around the world were prompted to continue the regular processing of visas for people from Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria & Yemen after the ruling was confirmed yesterday. US district judge, Derrick Watson, wrote that the policy provided by Trump’s team “lacks sufficient findings that the entry of more than 150 million nationals’ from six specified countries would be ‘detrimental to the interests of the United States’”. However, the department are continuing the proclamation for North Korea and Venezuela with the aim of strengthening national security, although some believe they were only added to the list in the first place to prevent the policy’s critics from labelling it a strictly Muslim ban, which essentially, is exactly what it is still trying to be.
Today’s economic data revolves around employment and wages. Unemployment held its previous month’s title as the lowest since 1975 at 4.3%, as expected, but real wages continued to shrink for the sixth consecutive month up to August. Compared to growth of 2.2% in the three months ending July which was upwardly revised, the most recent statistics demonstrated a slightly weaker growth of 2.1% in the three months ending August, excluding bonuses. Increasing inflation combined with decreasing household earnings is simply not sustainable. Those who seem to be suffering the most from the wage declines are people working in real estate activities, administrators, and those in service activities such as hairdressing.
The FTSE has had a particularly good day today. It opened 0.23% higher at 7534, and closed 0.36% higher at 7543. GBP/USD fell further by 0.10% to 1.3179, and GBP/EUR fell 0.08% to 1.1196.