British Pound Slips ahead of Retail Sales Report

Over the next 2 trading days, the big action should be in the British pound.

We are expecting retail sales tomorrow followed by the first quarter GDP report on Friday. The deterioration in the UK housing market and the UK economy in general will weigh on consumer spending, while the GDP numbers may be partially dependent upon how bad retail sales fared in March. Unfortunately the minutes from the latest monetary policy meeting failed to provide any clarity on how the central bank may vote at the next meeting because the committee was split 3 ways. Six of the nine members voted in favor of the 25bp rate cut, 2 members voted for no cut at all while 1 member voted for a 50bp cut. As a group, they were concerned about everything from growth to credit markets to inflation. Looking ahead, the only things that will shed more light on where the BoE stands would be tomorrow’s retail sales report.