A close up of a magnifying glass rests on top of a bar graph that shows declining sales or performance over a quarterly basis. The image is photographed using a very shallow depth of field.

Friday will see retail sales data for March, which will make for interesting reading as the year-ago data starts to include data from lockdown periods.

Market expectations are for retail sales (including petrol) in March to show a 1.5% increase month-on-month after rising 2.1% in February.

Year-on-year, that would equate to a 3.5% increase compared to February 3.7% decline.

With petrol excluded from the equation, the monthly rise is tipped to be 2.0%, compared to February’s 2.4% hike, while the year-on-year gain is expected to be 4.5%, compared to a 1.1% decline in February.

“With the economy reopening gradually, the flash PMIs [Purchasing Manager Indices] are likely to report an acceleration in growth this month, with the composite PMI likely to rise about 2pts from March’s six-month high of 56.5 thanks not least to improvement in the services sector,” said Daiwa Capital Markets.

Significant announcements expected

Trading announcements: Digitalbox plc (LON:DBOX), XPS Pensions Group PLC (LON:XPS)

Economic data: UK consumer confidence, UK retail sales, UK flash PMIs, US flash PMIs