Brits go shopping in the sunshine
Expectations of an economic recovery in the UK were bolstered yesterday as high street spending grew for the second consecutive month. Retail sales rose by 0.2% month-on-month in June, after a 2.1% surge in May. This is the first monthly back-to-back sales growth since July 2012. The upturn also excluded mail order/internet sales which expanded by 7.1%, month on month after 4% growth in the previous month. Put together the figures do show the high street is starting to benefit from an upturn in consumer confidence.
In the US, fewer people than forecast filed applications for unemployment benefits. Jobless claims fell by 24k to 334k in the week ended 13 July, this being the lowest level since early May. The data has been subject to swings recently due to annual shutdowns for re-tooling at vehicle plants, but the data will add to market expectations the Fed will begin winding down its QE programme in the next few months.
GBP/USD boosted by UK retail sales figures pushing the pair to a high of $1.5242. Meanwhile, positive data in the US put the Euro under pressure slipping to a low of $1.3065 before recovering a little overnight. GBP/EUR now trading around the 1.1600 level.