UK Retail Sales Highest In Almost 3 Years

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UK Retail Sales Soar

It’s been quite a muddled weak on the data front. In the US we had inflation coming in above forecast followed by retail sales plunging. In the UK, following a weaker-than-forecast GDP print earlier in the week, retail sales today were seen rising to their highest level in almost 3 years last month. On the back of a 3.3% dip in December, retail sales bounced back last month, recording a 3.4% gain.  The reading was well above the 1.4% the market was looking for and marks the strongest monthly rise since April 2021.

Weak GDP Casts a Shadow

Looking at the breakdown of the data, all sectors except clothing stores recorded gains with sports equipment stores noting the largest gains at 6.2%. Automotive fuel sales also posted strong gains of 6.2%. Looking at the reaction in GBP today it suggests that the data is doing little to detract from a weaker GPD print and unchanged inflation print earlier in the week, with the Pound showing only minor upside.

BOE Easing Expectations

On the back of the news earlier in the week that the UK has entered recession, the market remains expectant of BOE easing this year. Currently, traders are pegging a June cut. However, if inflation starts to fall again following this month’s unchanged reading, this will likely see that pricing brought forward a little, dragging GBP lower near-term.

Technical Views

GBPUSD

For now, the pair continues to hold below the 1.2612 level. With momentum studies bearish, the market remains vulnerable to a fresh drop lower with 1.2437 the next downside target for bears. To the topside, if bulls can get back above the bear trend line, 1.2832 will be the next resistance to note.

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