Euro Slightly Higher, Despite Slowing of Eurozone Retail Sales Growth
The euro is strengthening slightly against the US dollar, but still, the currency is weak. The euro/dollar pair increased by 0.24% to the level of 1.1959 today. The markets await US NFP report. It is forecast, that non-farm payrolls increased by 192.000 jobs last month, after rose by 103.000 positions in March (the smallest gain in six months). Average hourly earnings are expected to have risen 0.2% last month. That would leave the annual increase in average hourly earnings at 2.7%, steady from the pace recorded in March.
Today’s data showed retail sales in the Eurozone rose less than expected in March. The Eurostat said that retail sales rose by only 0.1% in March from a 0.3% gain in the preceding month. Analysts had expected retail sales in the euro area to rise to 0.5% in March. Retail sales rose by an annualized 0.8%, compared to 1.8% in February. Economists had expected a reading of 1.9%.
Eurozone business growth slowed again in April but the picture still remained relatively bright. IHS Markit's Final Composite Purchasing Managers' Index, seen as a good overall indicator of the Eurozone growth, declined to a 15-month low of 55.1 in April from March's 55.2.
Eurozone Services PMI showed a fall to 54.7 in April from March's 54.9. The preliminary estimate was 55.0. Meanwhile, German Services PMI fell to 53.0 in April from 53.9 in the previous month. This was the lowest level since September 2016. The preliminary estimate was 54.1.