The USD ended last week mixed across the majors as the currency gained against the Pound Sterling , Euro, Yen, and Canadian Dollar, but fell versus the Swiss franc, New Zealand dollar, and Australian dollar. The US unemployment rate hit 8.1 percent as 651,000 jobs were lost according to government data.
Making matters worse, a combined 161,000 more jobs were lost in January and December than previously believed. Since the start of the recession in December 2007, the US economy has shed 4.4 million jobs. Looking ahead to data releases this week, the big indicator to watch will hit the wires on Thursday at 08:30 ET. The Commerce Department is forecasted to report that US retail sales fell negative for the seventh time in the past eight months in February.
More specifically, advance retail sales are anticipated to have contracted 0.5 percent during the month, and core retail sales are expected to have slumped 0.2 percent, marking what may end up being a consistent trend through the first half of 2009.