After a quiet start to the week with minimal data releases, investors looked forward to both Thursday and Friday for key releases. With no data releases on Monday, attention turned to US Federal Reserve Member Lael Brainard, a member of the Federal Reserve committee who votes on interest rates. She urged caution on the timing on when to raise interest rates, citing doggedly low inflation as a key factor. This saw sterling receive a boost against the US dollar.
Wednesday saw the Import Prices contract further than expected, to six-month lows, but the key day so far this week has been Thursday, with both Retail Sales and Produce Price Index (PPI) data due. Between the two key releases, Retail Sales saw the biggest decline, showing contraction for the first time in four months. The PPI remained flat following the previous month’s contraction.
Today we can look forward to the Consumer Price Index (CPI). In contrast to the PPI, the CPI is expected to post a small increase in the previous month’s figure. Consumer Sentiment data released later in the day is expected to post three-month highs.