Money Minute Thursday 17 October: retail sales may paint a gloomy picture

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Today in the UK, we get the latest retail sales figures. In August, sales were down month on month, though were still up by 2.7% on the previous year. Sales for September are expected to have fallen again – various trade bodies have reported gloomy survey findings in recent months.

That said, with employment high and wages growing, we may find that Brexit-blinded businesses may have been overdoing the pessimism. In any case, the data is unlikely to move the market. Until Brexit talks are resolved one way or another, every quote coming out of Brussels or Number 10 will take precedence over economic news.

Over in the US, we have a raft of data, including figures on the number of new homes being built, measures of manufacturing industry health, and the usual weekly initial jobless claims. Overall, the data is likely to paint a picture of continued consumer strength, combined with a struggling manufacturing sector.