March Retail Sales Up

With the Spring/Easter holiday over, surveyists are studying the fresh data from the month of March.  This year, the long Easter weekend fell earlier than last year right at the start of April.  This led to a surge of retail sales figures for March in the UK, as retailers offered competitive price cuts and offers.  Chocolate and meat were big winners (not surprisingly).

Economists, ever on the cautious side, warned that the positive retail figures were not truly indicative of the overall picture in the UK.  Indeed, until the general elections are over mid-May, UK consumers are likely to remain cautious with regards to their spending habits…

Spending habits in Greece are likely to remain on the frugal side as the Government there battles with its deficit.  This weekend, Eurozone leaders and the IMF agreed to put up a loan of €30 billion for Greece, with an interest rate of around 5%.  The euro shot up on the news, against both the pound and the US dollar. Greece hopes it will not have to call upon the large loan deal yet is certainly calmed by the cushion it provides.  So, it seems, are international investors.

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