Release Explanation: The CBI Realized Sales measures the consumer spending. It is a leading indicator of consumer spending because retailer and wholesaler sales are directly influenced by consumer buying levels. A reading above 0 indicates higher sales volume, below 0 indicates weaker sales.

Trade Desk Thoughts: The CBI survey showed that retail sales contracted for the ninth month in a row. In its latest Distributive Trades Survey, 16% of retailers said year-on-year sales volumes rose in the first half of January, while 63% said they were down.

The resulting balance of -47% represents another heavy fall in sales, but the decline was slightly slower than in December and broadly in line with expectations.

Looking to February, a balance of 52% expects sales to decline, which is the weakest forecast since the survey began in July 1983, although if expectations are realised sales still would not fall as sharply as in December (-55%, which was a record low)..

Forex Technical Reaction: The pound advanced in the overnight session 200 pips, up to TheLFB R1 (1.4200). However, the pair failed to break anywhere higher and retraced some of today's gains in the European session.