British Pound Edges Lower Despite Strong UK Retail Sales

Fundamental analysis of Forex market

GBP/USD has posted slight losses in the Thursday session. In North American trade, GBP/USD is trading at 1.3015, down 0.20% on the day. On the release, British retail sales jumped 1.1% in March, crushing the estimate of -0.3%. Over in the U.S., retail sales is forecast to improve to 0.9% and core retail sales is projected to climb 0.7%. The Philly Fed manufacturing index is forecast to dip down to 11.2, while unemployment claims is projected to rise to 207 thousand. On Friday, the U.S. releases building permits and the Treasury Department releases the semi-annual currency report.

The Brexit drama has taken a short hiatus this week, so investors are paying more attention to economic numbers, particularly consumer spending and inflation numbers. Retail sales impressed in March, with a strong gain of 1.1 percent. This comes on the heels of inflation releases, with CPI unchanged at 1.9%. This is just below the BoE target of 2.0%, so inflation could be a factor in favor of maintaining interest rates at 0.75% at the next policy meeting in early May.

In the U.S., the expectations are for strong retail sales numbers. Retail sales and core retail sales both recorded declines in February, but a rebound is projected for March, with estimates of 0.9% for retail sales and 0.7% for core retail sales. If the actual figures are within expectations, the U.S. dollar could respond with gains.

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