GBP/AUD, GBP/EUR Exchange Rates Lower on UK Retail Sales, Australian Unemployment Rises
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GBP/AUD, GBP/EUR Exchange Rates Lower on UK Retail Sales, Australian Unemployment Rises

19 January 2018 by News Desk

The Australian unemployment rate ticked up while UK retail sales were underwhelming after a Black Friday surge and high inflation impacted consumer pockets, say industry experts FC Exchange.

The pound exchange rate softened against the euro (GBP/EUR) and Australian dollar (GBP/AUD) on Friday after UK retail sales fell short of predictions. Markets had expected to see a rise from 1.5% to 2.6% on the year, but actually, the reading slumped to 1.4%. The month of December showed a -1.5% contraction, rather than the -0.6% drop economists had forecast.

The fall in retail sales in December has been accredited partly to the previous month’s Black Friday boost. Additionally, UK citizens are feeling the impact of high consumer prices and slow-growing wages. Today’s figures show the worst sales slump in five years.

Senior Office for National Statistics (ONS) statistician Rhian Murphy states: ‘Retail sales continued to grow in the last three months of the year partly due to Black Friday deals boosting spending. Consumers continue to move Christmas purchases earlier with higher spending in November and lower spending in December than seen in previous years. However, the longer-term picture is one of slowing growth, with increased prices squeezing people’s spending. Over the year the proportion of internet spending is continuing to rise, with almost one in every five pounds spent online by the end of 2017.’

Sterling had spent the early part of the morning in a tight range against the single currency and US dollar on Brexit optimism but is now trending approximately -0.20% lower against the euro. However, sterling is still residing around +0.20% higher against the US dollar.

Meanwhile, in Australia, the nation’s unemployment rate took a surprise swing higher in Thursday’s trading despite the job boom in the nation totalling 15-months of consecutive growth. Although forecasts had suggested 15,000 new jobs would be created in December, a healthy 35,000 were created instead. However, more people were entering the job market to look for work, which meant that the participation rate ticked up to a seven-year high at 65.7% and the level of unemployment increased.

The pound to euro (GBP/EUR) exchange rate remains above the 1.13 threshold at interbank levels of 1.1327. The pound to Australian dollar (GBP/AUD) exchange rate is trending in the region of 1.7338.

Disclaimer: This economic update is provided by FC Exchange a Global Reach Group Company, industry leaders in foreign exchange. Authorised affiliates are permitted to reuse content.

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