- Pound upbeat after promising retail sales data
- Goldman Sachs chief calls for second Brexit referendum
By Michael Hart
The Pound rallied a little yesterday following slightly upbeat UK retail sales data. Retail sales continued to grow in October easing some of the fears of a plunge in consumer spending. Sales volumes rose 0.3% in the month, much better than the 0.1% consensus. On a quarterly basis, sales rose by 0.9%. The underlying picture is of steady growth and retail sales seem to be more resilient than most anticipated particularly with wages lagging inflation. Consumer spending has been the main driver of UK economic growth since the 2016 Brexit vote. Sterling pushed to 1.12 against the Euro and 1.32 against the US Dollar; which remain at significant levels.
The chief executive of Goldman Sachs has suggested a second EU referendum to confirm there is a consensus in the UK on the “monumental and irreversible” Brexit decision. Lloyd Blankfein was “Reluctant to say, but many wish for a confirming vote on a decision so monumental and irreversible. So much at stake, why not make sure consensus still there?”
On the other hand, UK Brexit Secretary David Davis said that it's "incredibly unlikely" there will be a no-deal Brexit. And he hopes that the next round of negotiation with EU will start before Christmas. But he also warned that "politics above prosperity" in the post Brexit relationship with EU. Davis would want to seek a "deep and comprehensive free trade agreement" with EU and "continued close cooperation in highly regulated areas such as transport, energy and data".