Today’s final GDP data showed that the UK’s economic growth was unexpectedly revised up and business investments registered a rise for 2014, thereby strengthening expectations that domestic activity remains buoyant despite muted inflation in the nation. Moving ahead, Sterling investors will eye this week’s manufacturing and construction PMI readings for further direction.Across the Atlantic, traders will note the Conference Board’s survey today which is expected to show that confidence among US consumers deteriorated for March. In Germany, reports released earlier today showed that retail sales dropped less than expected for February, while the number of unemployed people for March registered a decline for the sixth consecutive month.
Appetite for mortgages in the UK continues to rise, with data today showing that mortgage approvals climbed for the third straight month and is now perched at a six month high.In Europe, confidence surveys are expected to show a notable pick up in private sector morale with the advent of ECB’s accommodative measures. Later today, the German CPI figures will be watched to ascertain the influence of volatile energy prices on overall inflation for the current month. The focus now shifts to the upcoming labour market reports from the US. However, a clearer picture will only unravel early next week, as the nonfarm payrolls report is due to be released on Good Friday.
Today’s data showed that house prices in the UK rose less than expected for March, despite a strong pace of growth in the domestic labour market and a supply constraint in the nation’s real estate segment continuing to help push up home rates. Separately, today BoE chief, Mark Carney indicated that the next move by the central bank would likely be a rise in rates. This is in line with the BoE’s earlier guidance that the low energy prices led weakness in Britain’s inflation is temporary.Across the Atlantic, a weekly survey showed yesterday that the number of first time jobless claimants in the US eased more than expected for the previous week. Going forward, revised US GDP figures for the final quarter of 2014, along with a speech by Janet Yellen, will keep investors interested in the latter half of today’s trading session.