UK Retail Sales Surge as Lockdown Easing Begins

British retail sales rocketed last month as consumers prepared for a partial lifting of coronavirus lockdown restrictions, according to official data which also showed record peacetime government borrowing. 

Sales volumes leapt by 5.4% in March from February, the Office for National Statistics said, with clothing stores benefiting especially. 

Britain’s economy slumped by almost 10% last year, its biggest collapse in more than three centuries, but it is expected to grow by more than 5% in 2021 and 2022, according to the International Monetary Fund

The Bank of England is waiting to see the extent to which households spend their lockdown savings as it assesses how long it needs to keep its huge stimulus plan in place. 

In other news, more hawkish members of the ECB have expressed hopes that the euro zone’s central bank will be able to unwind its coronavirus stimulus program, known as PEPP, in the latter part of 2021.  However, this will be dependent on how the pandemic and respective vaccination programs play out.  Market players are keenly anticipating the June meeting, the next in the ECB’s calendar, as the next key moment for monetary stimulus in the euro zone. 

Ethereum (ETC) hit new all-time-high above $2,550 on Thursday.  It has since dropped (along with most cryptocurrencies) and is now at $2,218.65 at 10.00 GMT+3. Experts are suggesting that this is only temporary and the next significant price target for ETH will be $3,000. 

Keep an eye on cryptos for the right opportunity to trade. 

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