THE TAKEAWAY: UK retails sales improve -> cooling inflation seen to reduce squeeze on consumers -> Cable jumps about 50 points on the news…
UK retails sales beat expectations for the second month in a row as consumers found an appetite for household goods and furniture. Monthly retail sales (excluding auto fuel) grew by 1.2% in January, well above the median forecast which was -0.3%. Retailers sold 1.9% more than this time last year.
Bank of England governor King this week referenced cooling inflation as a boost for consumers in the UK. King added that the economy is expected to “gradually” recover its losses this year as global markets attempt to regain steam after the European debt crisis.
Cable jumped by about 50 points as news of the increased retail sales helped market confidence.