• We have a number of clients that trade internationally and we are, of course, all interested in what is likely to happen in the UK. We helped our clients, Creaseys, organise an event with Barclays this week and the speaker from Barclays Capital got out his crystal ball for us. To compare the predictions with the forecasts of National Australia Bank, which we reported in our doom and bloom post a couple of weeks ago, is interesting.

    Barclays Capital is forecasting a 0.5% cut in interest rates by the end of the year and a low of 3% in 2009. The year end prediction is 3.50%.

    Barclays' record with forecasts is pretty good, but before we all rush down to William Hill with the pension fund, it's worth noting that Lloyds TSB is forecasting 4.50%, HSBC 3.50% and others, such as JP Morgan and Deutsche Bank, are saying 2.5% by the end of 2009. Make of that what you will.

    A $:£ exchange rate of 1.77 in 6 months time and 1.79 in 12 months appeared from the mist of the Barclays' crystal ball, as did a euro exchange rate of 1.27 and 1.30 respectively. NAB were more pessimistic about sterling against the dollar and forecast 1.66-1.60 in 6 months time (but, that was two weeks ago!).

    Don't rely on anything and don't be dragged down by what you read and hear is our attitude. We are currently involved in some very exciting projects, we're regularly talking to new clients and Jo is in Dubai at the moment exploring opportunities for us down there. You don't know if you don't ask and you don't find anything if you don't look.

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