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“Retail sales volumes were broadly flat in the year to January (balance of +1%) and are expected to remain so in the year to March (-3%),” the Confederation of British Industry’s (CBI) said in its latest Distributive Trades Survey. This reading came in worse than the market expectation for a balance of +4%.

“Retailers are planning to raise investment in the year ahead for the first time in two years,” the CBI further noted in its publication. “The improving investment outlook came despite the fact that retail sales were broadly flat in the year to February, for the fourth consecutive month (following a period of falling sales from mid-2019).”

GBP reaction

The British pound’s reaction to this data was muted. As of writing, the GBP/USD pair was trading at 1.2967, adding 0.32% on a daily basis.