UK Retail Sales to Have Post Elections Hangover

The U.K. retail sales fell unexpectedly in March (-0.5%) further highlighting the economic slowdown in the first quarter of the year. Going into the election it was one of the weak spots for the incumbent party. Confidence in the economy seems to have won out to immediate concerns as Conservatives retained and expanded into a majority with their victory in the May elections. Forecasts point to a 0.3% growth in retail data. A final print inline or beating expectations could boost the GBP and give a further boost of confidence in the economy. A below expectations figure would continue to validate the slowdown trend as few factors have changed and it is uncertain what effect did the elections have on consumer behaviour.

Canadian retail sales enjoyed a surge last month beating expectations for its ex-auto reading at 2.0%. Expectations were a modest 0.7% the same figure that is forecasted for this month. The Canadian sales figures had posted two negative months in a row. The biggest winners were general merchandise and sporting goods sales. The warmer weather played a big part in the revival of the retail sector in Canada, which will probably post a reading inline with forecast as spring like weather continues.

Retail Sales events to watch this week:

**Thu May 21**
4:30am GBP Retail Sales m/m
**Fri May 22**
8:30am CAD Core Retail Sales m/m

*All times EDT
For more macro economic events impacting the forex market visit the MarketPulse Economic Calendar

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Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He has been published by The MarketWatch, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Bloomberg and BNN. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza