express– Today, the pound was up 0.2 percent against the euro at 85.53 pence per euro and was on track for a 0.4 percent gain against Europe for the week as a whole. Now, economists have said the “wheel of fortune” is turning back to the UK.
Kallum Pickering, the senior economist at Berenberg, said: “The economic wheel of fortune seems to be turning back in the UK’s favour.
“A successful vaccine rollout, aggressive policy support and a solid global backdrop set the stage for at least two years of rapid economic rebound from the massive pandemic shock of 2020.
“We expect a strong consumer-led recovery from spring onwards as savings normalise, face-to-face services reopen and manufacturers step up production to meet rising demand.”
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has threatened to ban the AstraZeneca vaccine – which was developed with Oxford University – from being exported from the continent.
She said the pharmaceutical company must “catch up” on deliveries to the EU before they export to other countries.
Mrs von der Leyen said: “I think it is clear that first of all the company has to catch up.
“[It] has to honour the contract it has with European member states before it can engage again in exporting vaccines.
“We want to explain to our European citizens that they [can] get their fair share.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned the “blockades” were “not sensible”.
Yesterday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the EU aims to achieve a “win-win” situation with Britain over vaccine supplies.
The UK government has insisted Britain has sufficient supplies to vaccinate all adults by the end of July.
The UK and EU issued a joint statement together earlier this week and said: “Accelerating the production, delivery and deployment of vaccines remains essential and urgent to overcome the crisis.
“Efforts to this end must be further intensified.
“We underline the importance of transparency as well as of the use of export authorisations.”
The EU has been widely been criticised for its glacial vaccine rollout and has consistently blamed pharmaceutical companies for not delivering enough doses.
The bloc is expecting to receive around 30 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine by the end of March.
It comes after several EU states halted the use of the jab amid safety fears before the European Medicines Agency insisted the vaccine was “safe and effective” to use.
The World Health Organisation’s European director, Hans Kluge, urged EU nations to continue to use the vaccine.
He said: “As of now, we do not know whether some or all of the conditions have been caused by the vaccine or by other coincidental factors.
“At this point in time, however, the benefits of the AstraZeneca vaccine far outweigh its risks and its use should continue, to save lives.”
Sterling was also up by 0.3 percent compared to the US dollar $1.3777.
It also saw slightly smaller gains compared to other currencies such as the Australian and New Zealand dollar.