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The volume of retail sales in Britain rose by 0.9%. A drop of 0.3% was expected after the rise seen last month.

The move higher seen in GBP/USD has now accelerated. There might have been a leak, as the pair was already moving up before the publication, but the graph still shows a small gap. So, it was still a very positive surprise.

GBP/USD is now above 1.5840. The gap was a bit over 10 pips. This goes hand in hand with a surprising rise in Nationwide’s Consumer Confidence figure published earlier in the week: it jumped from 38 to 47 points. A rise to 40 was predicted.

Update: GBP/USD continues higher and crosses 1.5860. Also the euro moves higher on this positive piece of British news.

Is the British consumer feeling better?

Earlier this week, Britain reported that year-over-year inflation continued downwards to 3.6%. Other inflation measures came out a bit below expectations.

Unemployment remains at 8.4%, with jobless claims on the rise.

GBP/USD already fell below 1.5650 earlier in the week. The new hope for Greece sent it higher, and it stabilized just before the retail sales were released.

For more about the pound, see the GBP/USD forecast.