The British pound just plummeted: What it means for the U.K., tourists

The facade of the Bank of England this month. (Jose Sarmento Matos/Bloomberg News)

The British pound plunged to a record low against the soaring dollar on Monday, spurring concerns of even higher inflation and prompting social media users to share defeatist memes about the world’s sixth-largest economy.

The country, already reeling from the death of its longest-ruling monarch and the recent ousting of Boris Johnson as prime minister, is in the throes of an “even more severe cost-of-living crisis” due to the plummeting pound, said Barry Eichengreen, a professor of economics at the University of California at Berkeley. “Recovery is not on the horizon” for the foreseeable future, he added.

The pound has been on a downward trajectory against the dollar since Britain voted to exit the European Union in 2016. But it is not the only currency to have shed value recently: The South Korean won tumbled to a 13-year low against the dollar this month, while the Japanese yen fell to a 24-year low. In July, the euro sank to even with the dollar for the first time in nearly two decades.

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