The Euro softened against the Pound following the release of data which showed that UK retail sales soared above expectations in December and as a separate report showed that Eurozone construction output declined more than expected.
According to the European Union’s statistics department (Eurostat) construction output across the Euro region fell for a third consecutive month in November, adding to concerns that the region’s recovery has failed to reach all areas of the economy.
Construction output declined by -0.6% from October’s figure and fell by -1.7% from the previous year, a figure that was worse than the -1.28% economists had been forecasting.
The Pound leapt against a number of its most traded peers after the UK’s Office for National Statistics (ONS) released data which showed that retail sales in the UK leapt by 2.6% in December smashing economist forecasts for a 0.3% gain.
Strong sales at smaller businesses were the driving factor and department stores saw sales climb by 8.7%. On a year by year basis sales soared by 5.3%. Excluding fuel sales the figure rose by 2.8% monthly and 6.1% yearly. The yearly figure was the biggest gain seen in nine-years and suggests that the UK economy is edging closer to shaking off the impact of the global financial crisis.
“This December was much better than what we’ve seen in previous years,” Kate Davies from the ONS told the BBC. “It’s the small stores that are very much driving growth – they are seeing a consistent gain of 8% annual growth, while large stores are seeing 2.6% growth.”
The data reduced recent concerns that the UK economy was facing a slowdown and sent the currency higher.
Euro Exchange Rate:
[table width=”100%” colwidth=”50|50|50|50|50″ colalign=”left|left|left|left|left”]
Currency, ,Currency,Rate ,
Euro,,US Dollar,1.3598 ,
Euro,,British Pound,1.8270 ,
Euro,,Australian Dollar,1.5455 ,
Euro,,Canadian Dollar,1.4879 ,