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Equilibrium's finance and investment news roundup

Following a hectic few days in UK politics, our roundup this week includes warnings that the pound could continue to weaken following the outcome of the general election. We also bring news of UK inflation climbing again in May, the number of payday loan-related complaints rising for the second year in a row, and a new poll suggesting affordability is the primary concern among renters.


Poll: Pound could weaken further in election aftermath 

A new poll of economists conducted by Reuters has warned that the pound could further weaken in value as the fallout from last week's general election rumbles on. 

More than half (26) of the 50 experts involved in the survey said they expect sterling to fall in the next few months. The research comes after the pound sank to a two-month low on Friday following a surprise election result that saw the Conservatives failing to secure the landslide victory anticipated by many. 

Of those questioned, 15 predict there will be no change to the value of the pound in the coming months, while nine expect it to recoup some of its losses.  

ONS: Inflation rose again in May 

The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) have shown that UK inflation rose again in May, reaching its highest level for almost four years. 

The ONS revealed that consumer prices increased by 2.9% during the month compared with a year earlier. It cited the higher cost of holidays for British tourists paying more for their currency following the fall in the pound after last year's European Union referendum as a contributing factor. 

Other reasons cited included the price of computer games and equipment, which tend to be imported and are also affected by the weakened pound.  

Payday loan complaints climb for second consecutive year 

The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) has revealed that payday loan-related complaints have climbed significantly for the second year in a row. The FOS received 10,529 such new complaints in the 2016-17 financial year; a sharp rise on the 3,216 complaints made in the previous year. 

These increases have come despite new regulations aiming to restrict interest charges on short-term credit products. The latest figures show that complaint numbers are nine times higher than they were two years ago. 

Caroline Wayman, the Chief Financial Ombudsman, commented: "It is clear that financial difficulties and financial exclusion remain significant challenges for many people."  

Affordability 'the biggest concern among renters' 

Affordability has been highlighted as the main concern among UK tenants in a new survey from estate agency Knight Frank. This was followed by location and the size of the property itself. 

The survey showed that two-thirds of renters believe they will still be renting in three years' time, and it is expected that 5.79 million households will be renting from a private landlord by 2021. 


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