All Quiet On The Western Front

18 April, 2019

Samuel Roberts

Over the last few days, the market has slowed right down in its’ volatile nature. Partly because both houses (Commons and Lords) are on their respective Easter Break’s and Brexit has been pushed back until the end of October. Another reason is that the markets are relying more on economic data, something that they understand and have a long history on.

With that in mind, there are quite a few data releases today.

09:30 am The retail ex-fuel sales figure (month on month).

The Retail Sales ex-fuel figures are a measure of changes in sales of the British retail sector excluding fuel. It shows the performance of the retail sector in the short term.

Each percent change reflects the rate of sales. The figures are widely seen as an indicator of consumer spending. A high figure indicates as bullish (or positive) for the Pound, while a low figure is seen as bearish (or negative).

The reason these are respected slightly more, is because the addition of fuel sales blurs the picture slightly.

Last month, the fall in food stores was the strongest decline since December 2016 at negative 1.5%, reversing the increase of 0.9% in January 2019, with most analysts stating that it was a result of the public getting back to normal after the Christmas break.

11:00 am The UK Business Optimism Index.

This figures are always good to know but especially since Brexit and all of the uncertainty that it has brought.

As the title suggests, this data reflects our trading neighbours appetite to conduct business with us and our productivity to manufacture, export and win new business overseas.

Considering that the UK scored Fifty Five (55) points back in 1959, still on a resurgence from the war over a decade previously. The UK was a place that the rest of the world were keen to conduct business with.

Fast forward to December 2018 the last set of figures for this index were minus Twenty Three (-23)

11:00 am CBI Industrial Trends

These are month on month figures and this data reads as the CBI’s order book for the UK.

Understandably, the last two years of figures have not been promising at all due to the amount of countries and organisations who thought they would either move their base of operations or just hold off until the ‘BREXIT dust’ has settled, before placing those orders.

We do not expect the figures to be ‘glamorous’ by any means but anything around the plus Two or three (+2 or +3) would be seen as a slight improvement on the previous figures.

Just to put that into perspective, back in 2016 before we had the EU referendum our figure then was +22.

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