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Not a bad time to be British and a traveler.
Britons spending Easter in the US, or those planning a summer holiday there, have been given a timely financial boost after the pound hit a five-year high against the dollar.
One pound currently buys around $1.65, 13 per cent more than it did last summer, meaning Britons exchanging £500 with Travelex, for example, will get around $822 in return – up from $729 in 2013.
The pound’s rise follows news of unexpectedly fast growth in the UK economy and a fall in unemployment to 6.9 per cent.
“The pound’s high is perfect timing for those jetting off to the US this Easter weekend,” said a Travelex spokesman. “The pound has been making strong and steady progress in recent weeks and is now up 13 per cent against the US dollar compared to only nine months ago. It’s also looking positive for those heading to the Eurozone, with the pound up five per cent against the Euro versus nine months ago – meaning an extra €27 when exchanging £500.”
The pound has performed well against nearly every major currency in the last few months, offering British holidaymakers considerably more for their money.
According to the Post Office, it has strengthened against all 40 of its top selling currencies in the past year, and against around 80 per cent of them since the beginning of 2014.
The biggest rises since January have been against the Russian ruble (+11 per cent), the Jamaican dollar (+5.6 per cent), the Canadian dollar (+5.3 per cent), the Hungarian forint (+4.8 per cent), the Chinese yuan (+4.7 per cent) and the Swedish kronor (+4.2 per cent).
In February, Telegraph Travel reported that, since February 2013, the pound had risen by more than a fifth against seven currencies: the Turkish lira (+35.4 per cent), the South African rand (+31.4 per cent), the Indonesian rupiah (+31 per cent), the Brazilian real (+26.7 per cent), the Jamaican dollar (+22.1 per cent), the Russian ruble (+21.7 per cent) and the Australian dollar (+21.4 per cent).