The Pound Sterling moved lower against the US Dollar after the latest data increased investor uncertainty on possible rate increases from the Bank of England. The Office of National Statistics reported that retail sales fell in March to 1.1% on a year-over-year basis, well below the 2.0% forecasted by analysts and below the 2.0% of the previous period. According to historical records, that is the largest quarterly decline in a year; analysts attribute that to unusually cold weather in the region which prevented shoppers from leaving their homes.
As reported at 11:07 am (BST) in London, the GBP/USD was trading at $1.4188, down 0.10% and off the session’s recorded low of $1.4161 while the high is at $1.4219. The EUR/GBP is up 0.1984% and trading at 0.87185 Pence; the pair has ranged from a session trough of 0.87090 Pence to 0.87367 Pence
Analysts Look to 2019 for Rate Hike
After yesterday’s data, today’s news increased concerns that the Bank of England might not pursue another rate increase later in 2018. Disappointing employment and construction data earlier this month sowed the seeds of uncertainty for a late 2018 rate increase. One currency analyst says that May’s expected rate increase could come with language with tempers expectations of a late year rate hike. Some analysts are now predicting February 2019 as the more likely time for a rate increase.