Newsletter – 21st March 2019

Morning Bulletin


  • UK Retail Sales continued to impress in 2019 with Sales up +0.4% in February, following a +0.9% rise in January. Economists had expected a fall of -0.4% however the ONS reported the unusually warm weather had seen spending boosted in garden centres and on sporting equipment.
  • The UK Public Sector Net Borrowing figure was also better than expected yesterday morning. The surplus of £0.7Bn, was almost double the £0.3Bn expected with the strong jobs market boosting income tax revenue.
  • Despite the positive economic data the Pound was under pressure all morning and into the afternoon yesterday as Brexit concerns weighed heavily on the currency.
  • News emerged yesterday morning that the EU was set to reject Mrs May’s proposed 3-month extension of Article 50, instead tabling a delay to no longer than the 22nd May.
  • The Bank of England held rates at 0.75% yesterday afternoon as expected in a unanimous vote. In an accompanying statement the BOE said that ‘Brexit uncertainties…continue to weigh on confidence and short-term economic activity, notably business investment’. The BOE signalled rate hikes could still be on the agenda should the economy continue on it’s current path, but also warned rates could move in either direction in response to whatever type of Brexit we end up with.
  • US Philly Fed Manufacturing 13.7 (4.6 Exp)
  • US Unemployment Claims 221K (226K Exp)

  • The Breaking news yesterday evening was that EU Leaders granted the UK an extension of Article 50. Growing ever more impatient however the EU have offered a delay to just the 22nd May with the stipulation that Theresa May must get her Brexit Deal through the commons at the third time of asking. They have given Mrs May until the 12th April to hold that vote.
  • Eurozone Current Account 36.8Bn (17.3Bn Exp)
  • Eurozone Flash Manufacturing PMI 47.6 (49.5 Exp)
  • Eurozone Flash Services PMI 52.7 as expected
  • All of the key data for the morning has now been releases as noted above.
  • This afternoon data out of Canada and the United States will be in focus, with Canadian CPI and Retail Sales the key prints at 12.30pm.


Currency Pair Interbank Rate % Change on Day
GBP/EUR 1.1588 +0.54
GBP/USD 1.3101 -0.01
EUR/USD 1.1304 -0.60
AUD/USD 0.7092 -0.25


Time (GMT) Region Data Release Forecast Previous
12.00 GBP BOE Quarterly Bulletin
12.30 CAD CPI m/m 0.6% 0.1%
12.30 CAD Core Retail Sales m/m 0.2% -0.5%
13.45 USD Flash Manufacturing PMI 53.5 53.0
13.45 USD Flash Services PMI 55.7 56.0
14.00 USD Existing Home Sales 5.10M 4.94M
14.00 USD Final Wholesale Inventories m/m 0.2% 1.1%
18.00 USD Federal Budget Balance -228.0Bn 8.7Bn