September 30, 2022

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Hello and welcome to the working week.

Let the games begin. No, not the acrimonious tussle between the final two candidates in the Conservative party’s leadership election — although you can watch that on the BBC on Monday. This week is the start of the Commonwealth Games in the UK’s second-largest city, Birmingham.

The opening day of the international sports fest will be marred by that other big event of the 2022 British summer: industrial action. The RMT will stage the latest in its series of walkouts over pay levels for rail industry workers on Wednesday, the same day that Aslef — representing train drivers — counts the votes in its strike ballot over members’ pay awards. The unrest continues to spread, with telecoms engineers and port workers either striking or balloting for industrial action over pay.

Across the Channel, energy ministers from EU member states will this week meet in Brussels to decide measures to end the European reliance on Russian fuel supplies. The prospects are not good, according to Europe Express newsletter writer Valentina Pop. On Sunday, President Vladimir Putin will have his opportunity to grandstand as Navy Fleet Day is celebrated in port cities across Russia.

If that is all too depressing, then perhaps it is worth celebrating the prospect of further significant compensation for the British postmasters made to suffer because of the faulty Horizon computer system. Former Supreme Court judge Lord John Dyson is expected to make an announcement on the final settlement for victims of the IT scandal following the government’s announcement of an interim payment totalling £19.5mn in June.

The pick of the election news this week is Tunisia’s vote on a new constitution. Politicians and analysts say there is little doubt that the charter, drawn up by populist leader Kais Saied, will be adopted even if they expect a low turnout.

Next Sunday, my colleague Georgina Quach will be shepherding The Week Ahead rundown while I take a few days off. I’ll be back with you at the beginning of August.

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Economic data

All eyes will be on Washington on Wednesday for the Federal Reserve’s latest interest rate announcement. Expectations are for a tightening of the monetary policy machinery with a 75 basis point increase. At least one senior Fed governor would like the Federal Open Market Committee to go even further.

Then we will get the data on growth — did someone mention recession — with quarterly GDP figures for the US, Canada, France, Germany and the mass of eurozone countries.

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Companies

We’ve hit peak earnings season with an A to Z (or at least X) of company names — ironic given that Tuesday’s list includes Alphabet.

The negative impact of the strong dollar has been seen across a range of US earnings calls this quarter. It is expected to surface as an issue again with a clutch of results announcements from Silicon Valley tech companies, which have some of the highest percentages of revenue from overseas.

Microsoft, which reports on Tuesday, has already cut its guidance based on the dollar, and Morgan Stanley issued a note last week saying the dollar could lead to disappointing guidance from Apple when it reveals its numbers on Thursday.

Attention will also be focused on the consumer goods industry with Unilever, Danone, Procter & Gamble, Reckitt Benckiser, Nestlé and Mondelēz all reporting this week. The concern among analysts is that shoppers are tightening their belts, choosing cheap own-label supermarket products over multinational brands. The decision by Unilever and others to raise their prices has not made the situation any easier.

Key economic and company reports

Here is a more complete list of what to expect in terms of company reports and economic data this week.

Monday

  • Germany, IFO business confidence index

  • UK, CBI quarterly trends survey

  • Results: Kuehne+Nagel H1, Philips Q2, Ryanair Q1

Tuesday

  • Japan, Bank of Japan issues minutes of its latest monetary policy meeting

  • US, June residential sales figures plus consumer confidence data

  • Results: 3M Q2, Alphabet Q2, Coca-Cola Q2, Dassault Systemes H1, Drax Group H1, easyJet Q3 trading update, Games Workshop FY, General Electric Q2, General Motors Q2, Heathrow airport H1, LVMH H1, McDonald’s Q2, Michelin H1, Microsoft Q4, Mitie Q1 trading update, Mondelēz International Q2, Moody’s Q2, Randstad Q2, Raytheon Q2, Rémy Cointreau Q1 sales update, Texas Instruments Q2, UBS Q1, Unilever H1, United Parcel Service Q2, Valeo H1, Visa Q3, Xerox Q2

Wednesday

  • Germany, GfK consumer confidence index

  • UK, British Retail Consortium and Nielsen monthly shop price index plus Office for National Statistics quarterly figures for profitability of British companies

  • US, Federal Open Market Committee makes interest rate announcement with officials signalling a 75 basis point rise

  • Results: Airbus H1, BASF Q2, Boeing Q2, Breedon H1, Bristol Myers Squibb Q2, British American Tobacco H1, Carrefour Q2, Credit Suisse Q2, Danone H1, Deutsche Bank Q2, Deutsche Börse Q2, Equinor Q2, Ford Motor Q2, GlaxoSmithKline Q2, Holcim H1, Iberdrola H1, Kering H1, Kraft Heinz Q2, Lloyds Banking Group H1, Mercedes-Benz Q2, Meta Q2, Millennium BCP Q2, Mitsubishi Motors Q1, Paragon Banking Group Q3 trading update, Puma Q2, Qualcomm Q3, Rio Tinto H1, Smurfit Kappa H1, Spotify Q2, T-Mobile Q2, UniCredit H1

Thursday

  • France, consumer confidence figures

  • Germany, preliminary consumer price index data

  • UK, Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders monthly vehicle and engine manufacturing figures, quarterly company incorporation data plus British Film Institute breakdown of the number and spend of UK produced films in Q2

  • US, Q2 GDP (advanced estimate)

  • Results: Amazon Q2, Anglo American H1, Apple Q3, ArcelorMittal Q2, BAE Systems H1, Banco Santander H1, Barclays H1, BT Group Q1, Centrica H1, CMC Markets Q1 trading update, Co-operative Bank H1, Comcast Q2, CVS Group trading update, Diageo FY, Enel H1, Hammerson H1, Harley-Davidson Q2, Intel Q2, ITV H1, JCDecaux H1, L’Oréal H1, Leonardo H1, Mastercard Q2, Merck & Co Q2, Nestlé H1, Nissan Motor Q1, Northrop Grumman Q2, OMV Q2, Orange H1, Panasonic Q1, Pfizer Q2, Relx H1, Rentokil Initial H1, Repsol Q2, Royal Dutch Shell Q2, Samsung Q2, Sanofi-Aventis Q2, Schroders H1, Segro H1, Smith & Nephew H1, St James’s Place Wealth Management H1, Stellantis H1, STMicroelectronics Q2, Total H1, Verisign Q2, Vivendi H1, Volkswagen H1, Weir Group H1

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Friday

  • Canada, May GDP figures

  • EU, flash eurozone Q2 GDP figures plus flash monthly eurozone inflation estimate

  • France, preliminary Q2 GDP figures plus consumer price index (CPI) and producer price index (PPI) data

  • Germany, July labour market figures and flash Q2 GDP data

  • Italy, CPI and PPI data

  • Japan, monthly unemployment rate, June retail sales figures plus preliminary June industrial production data

  • Mexico, Q2 GDP figures

  • Results: AbbVie Q2, Air France-KLM H1, Aon Q2, AstraZeneca H1, Audi H1, BBVA Q2, BNP Paribas Q2, Chevron Q2, Colgate-Palmolive Q2, Croda International H1, Daiwa Securities Group Q1, Eni Q2, ExxonMobil Q2, Glencore H1 production report, IAG Q2, IMI H1, Intertek Group H1, Mediobanca Q2, NatWest H1, Procter & Gamble Q4, Renault H1, Sony Q1, Swiss Re H1

World events

Finally, here is a rundown of other events and milestones this week.

Monday

  • Philippines, newly elected president Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr delivers his first State of the Nation address. He has promised to “sweat” on Filipinos’ behalf.

  • Spain, Galicia marks the Day of Galicia (Dia Nacional de Galicia), dedicated to the autonomous region’s patron saint James

  • Switzerland, a special meeting of the general council of the World Trade Organization in Geneva

  • Taiwan, the army will stage the Han Kuang real artillery exercise, the country’s most important annual war games

  • Tunisia, national referendum vote on a new constitution that would greatly increase the powers of the president

  • UK, the BBC hosts a live TV debate between Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss, the final two candidates in the Conservative party leadership race. Also, the Unite union will ballot hundreds of dockworkers in Liverpool at one of Britain’s largest container ports for strike action.

  • US, the 11th International Space Station Research and Development Conference begins at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington

Tuesday

  • Asalha Puja, commemorating Buddha’s first sermon in the Deer Park in Benares, is marked by Buddhists

  • Cuba, Revolution Day commemorating the armed revolt by Fidel Castro and his allies against the military dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista

  • EU, an extraordinary meeting of the bloc’s energy ministers takes place in Brussels with the aim of creating a package of measures to secure fuel supplies following the Russian invasion of Ukraine

  • UK, GMB union in Scotland closes a strike ballot among almost 10,000 council workers for industrial action this summer in a dispute over pay. The Lambeth Conference, the once every decade meeting of Anglican bishops, begins in London and Canterbury. Also, Glorious Goodwood, one of the highlights of the British horseracing season, begins at the Goodwood racecourse near Chichester.

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Wednesday

  • Korea, anniversary of the armistice in the 1950-53 Korean war, celebrated in North Korea as its “victory”

  • UK, Aslef union strike ballot closes for train drivers at the rail companies Avanti West Coast and CrossCountry. On the same day, in a separate dispute over pay, rail workers in the RMT union will walk out.

Thursday

  • England, the 22nd Commonwealth Games begins in Birmingham

  • Russia, legal proceedings against WhatsApp and Snapchat will take place in Moscow regarding the tech companies’ repeated refusal to localise the data of Russians. WhatsApp faces a fine of up to Rbs18mn ($309,000), while Snap, the owner of the Snapchat app, faces fines of up to Rbs6mn.

  • UK, the latest extension by the Westminster government to Transport for London’s short-term post-lockdown funding deal extension expires. Also, NHS Digital is to publish its female genital mutilation April 2020 to March 2022 report.

Friday

  • Islamic New Year (Al-Hijra) 1444 begins

  • UK, members of the Communication Workers Union employed by BT and Openreach are set to strike for 24 hours in a row over pay. A strike by the workers is also scheduled for next Monday.

Saturday

  • France, highway authorities warn of “Black Saturday” congestion on French roads due to people beginning and returning from holidays

  • UK, Aslef train drivers at eight rail companies will strike in a dispute over pay. Also, the sailing regatta Cowes Week begins on the Isle of Wight and the National Eisteddfod, the largest and oldest celebration of Welsh culture, begins in the ancient market town of Tregaron.

Sunday

  • Cambodia, the 55th Asean ministerial meeting begins in Siem Reap

  • Russia, the national holiday Navy Fleet Day with events in port cities. President Vladimir Putin is expected to attend a parade in St Petersburg.

  • Senegal, parliamentary elections to decide the 165 members of the National Assembly

  • Singapore, the New Cities Foundation hosts the New Cities Summit 2022

  • UK, the newly formed Ukrainian Freedom Orchestra, including refugees from the war-torn country, will perform at the Proms music festival in London. Plus, the final of the Uefa Women’s Euro 2022 football competition takes place at Wembley Stadium in London.

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