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GBP: Black Friday is the gift that keeps on giving

By Kiran Najran December 15th, 2017

UK retail sales were much better than expected in November with Black Friday sales being hailed as the main driving force behind the positive move. They had been expected to increase by 0.4%, but the figure was actually 1.1%. It is difficult to know precisely what to make of this, but perhaps the fact that inflation continues to outpace wage growth encouraged UK consumers to grab hold of a bargain while they could. One presumes many of us will wake up to discounted flat screen televisions in our stockings come Christmas morning.

Meanwhile, BoE did as expected and kept interest rates on hold at 0.5%. Every member of the MPC voted to keep rates on hold, as well as its commitments to the quantitative easing programme. In the subsequent press conference, Governor Mark Carney acknowledged that some progress had been made in Brexit talks, which has led to sterling strength in recent week.

The Bank also blamed a weak pound for the increase in inflation and Carney will provide further details on this point in his letter to Chancellor Philip Hammond. There are no major data releases today in what could be a quiet end to a busy week.

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