As we all start the process of taking down the Christmas tree, putting the decorations back up in the loft and making (or is that breaking) new years resolutions we are now turning our attention to the UK high street as we begin to┬áhear from some of the UK’s leading retailers as to how their Christmas sales performed. Yesterday John Lewis announced that their December sales rose by 13% with online sales especially strong, up by 44% compared to last year. Today it has been announced that the Next saw an increase in sales in the run up to Christmas and as a result was at the top end of its projections for the year. The UK high street is such an important part of the economy and so this positive news from some of the larger retailers is very welcome and could help Sterling exchange rates. For those looking to send money abroad more positive news from retailers will be very welcomed.

Following the positive start to 2013 with the Fiscal Cliff deal, positive UK manufacturing data and positive UK retail sales we were reminded yesterday that we are still facing a number of economic difficulties as Nationwide announced that UK house prices fell by 1% in 2012. While the UK high street is important to the UK economy the housing market is just as, if not more so as in this country so many people have funds tied up in bricks and mortar and so falling house prices means for many that their wealth is falling away. A struggling housing market also means that there is likely to be less property sales as people are reluctant to sell or buy and therefore with less properties being sold there is less money moving around the economy. So, to see the UK economy get out of recession we will need to see a positive housing market and importantly an increase in house sales. Will 2013 be the year we see the housing market turn itself around?

If you need to send money abroad at some point this year then make sure you speak to one of our friendly currency brokers who will be happy to discuss your currency requriements and all the options available to you. You can call straight through to our brokers for free on 0808 163 3464 or if calling from abroad on 0044 1494 849663 or email me directly on