May Market Update (week 4)

Minutes released from this month’s meeting showed officials on the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee voted unanimously to keep the benchmark interest rate at a record-low 0.5 percent. They also indicated the policy decision was becoming “more balanced” for some of the nine members as the economy recovers.

Also out of the UK this week were retail sales, including auto fuel, which surged 1.3 percent in April from the previous month, when they rose an upwardly revised 0.5 percent, the Office for National Statistics said in London. The gain exceeded analyst estimates for an increase of 0.4 percent and within the forex market rallied the pound against most other currencies for the majority of the week before cooling on Thursday.

Britain’s households spent more and companies increased investment at the fastest pace in a year, extending the country’s strong economic growth into the first three months of 2014, official data showed on Thursday.