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Currency sales soar as holidaymakers buy travel cash early

Holiday money sales have jumped this week after a snap general election was called, Post Office Travel Money has reported.

Online currency sales were up by 147% on Tuesday and Wednesday this week, compared with the same period a year ago, the Post Office said.

Post Office Travel Money, which accounts for one in four UK foreign exchange transactions, said the increase suggests holidaymakers travelling abroad later this year are buying their cash early to make the most of improving exchange rates.

The pound surged on Tuesday after Prime Minister Theresa May announced plans for a general election on June 8.

The Post Office said online currency sales are up by around 47% in April so far compared with the same period a year ago, with the increase coinciding with a time when sterling has recovered from its low point in October last year. It also said the strong sales figures are also evidence of a continuing appetite for overseas holidays.

Post Office Travel Money's latest holiday money index shows sales of its best-selling currency, the euro, grew by 6% year-on-year between January and March. It has also seen big sales growth recently for the Turkish lira and the Bulgarian lev during recent months.

Andrew Brown, head of Post Office Travel Money, said: "We have seen healthy levels of growth in sales for two-thirds of our 20 bestsellers including the euro and dollar."

Mr Brown said: "Our advice has always been to watch currency movements very carefully to judge the best time to purchase travel cash and there are signs that savvy travellers are increasingly planning ahead to do just that.

"The sharp rises we have seen in purchases of euros and other popular currencies suggest many holidaymakers are being proactive and buying their holiday cash early to take advantage of the improving exchange rates."

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