Every dollar on the planet had a difficult week and the Aussie was no exception, keeping pace with its US namesake on the way to a loss of more than two and a half cents against sterling. It was not just that the Australian economic data were a disappointment; figures from the UK were better than expected. The only positive Australian indicator was motor vehicle sales, which jumped by 4.0% in March. Import and export prices both fell in the first quarter of 2012. Factory gate prices were down too, halving the annual rate of increase to 1.4%. Meanwhile in Britain a fall in the unemployment rate and unexpectedly strong retail sales in March forced a reappraisal of the pound by investors. On Friday the Bank of England's trade-weighted sterling index touched its highest level in 20 months.