Investing.com – The U.S. dollar was on track for weekly gain against its rivals Friday, as strong retail sales data affirmed the U.S. economy remains on a solid footing.
The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, rose by 0.43% to 97.78.
The Commerce Department said on Wednesday that retail sales rose 0.2% last month, topping economists’ forecast for a 0.1% rise. The retail sales control group — which has a larger impact on U.S. GDP — rose 0.9%, above expectations for a 0.4% gain.
The strong retail sales print suggested consumer spending remained robust, pointing to signs of solid economic growth for the final quarter.
“The strength of this number will surely force Q4 growth estimates higher. As for us, we went into this number looking for Q4 consumption of 3.2% and we will now take that to 3.5%. That takes Q4 GDP to 3.1% from 2.9%,” RBC said in a note to clients.
The greenback was also supported by a slump in the pound to a 20-month low amid fears UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s failure to win key concessions from the European Union to support her Brexit deal could stifle economic growth.