The GBP EUR exchange rate was 0.11% higher to start the week after European countries saw mixed results from economic data. German retail sales were sharply lower from the previous month, but manufacturing held up slightly better. Consumer confidence slumped unexpectedly for the eurozone.
The GBP to EUR was trading at 1.1929 as the pair awaits the BoE policy meeting on Thursday this week.
German retail sales lower in March, manufacturing firms more positive
Germany’s Retail Sales dropped by 0.1% MoM in March versus 0.3% expected and 0.2% last month, according to official figures released by Destatis on Monday.
On an annualised basis, the country’s Retail Sales came in at -2.7% in March versus 7.0% recorded in February.
Data showed that retail sales of food grew 2.9% from the previous month, while non-food sales fell 2.6 percent. Amid rising fuel prices, retail sales of motor fuel logged a monthly fall of 11.5%.
In PMI figures, production was lower but less firms were gloomy about their future. The Ifo institute said that 7.1% of the 8,500 companies surveyed felt their existence is threatened, almost half the level of the last survey in January, when the figure stood at 13.7%.
“However, sectors that have been hit particularly hard by the coronavirus pandemic still feel threatened. These include the hospitality and event industries, where almost 25% of companies are reporting concerns over their survival,” Klaus Wohlrabe, head of surveys at ifo, said.
Material shortages were also said to be easing, according to the ifo. In other data, Italy’s unemployment rate improved, while consumer confidence slumped for the eurozone. The economic confidence index dropped to 105.0 in April from 106.7 in March, after being forecast to improve to 108.0.
Among the largest economies, economic sentiment deteriorated in Spain and in France, but was broadly unchanged in Germany, while it improved in Italy.
UK economy loses £8bn and 400k workers on post-covid health
The UK Government was urged to overhaul its approach to public health after research reveals the country has lost 400,000 workers to ill health.
Health problems following the pandemic have driven people out of jobs at an estimated cost of £8bn per year, a new report said.
According to the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) there is “huge economic potential” for taking stronger action against “burning health inequalities that limit lives and livelihoods”.
The latest figures from the ONS show an estimated 1.7 million people, or 2.7% of the population, were experiencing long-term health problems after the pandemic. An exile of students and migration has also added to the numbers.
Another plan by the UK government to ban non-domiciled workers was set to cost another £7bn. Labour’s plan to abolish the non-dom tax regime could see wealthy residents leaving for more favourable tax regimes.
The Bank of England meets on Thursday with analysts expecting another interest rate hike to tackle the soaring cost-of-living for many in the country.