Week ahead: BoE could hint at China crisis response

Next is expected to reveal rising profits over its latest half year when it reports to the City on Thursday. Picture: PA
Next is expected to reveal rising profits over its latest half year when it reports to the City on Thursday. Picture: PA
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MINUTES from the Bank of England’s monetary policy committee (MPC) will be released alongside its interest rate decision on Thursday, and the report will be pored over for hints on how the central bank will respond the gloom engulfing China.

Morgan Stanley economists expect a repeat of last month’s 8-1 split vote, with Ian McCafferty again tipped to be the sole voice calling for a hike in interest rates, and they said that new MPC member Gertjan Vlieghe, a former speechwriter for previous Bank of England governor Lord King, is likely to “keep a low profile” in his first meeting ahead of his inaugural appearance in front of MPs on the Treasury Select Committee.

Today

• Cala – Results are due from the Edinburgh–based builder, which was bought by insurer Legal & General and private equity firm Patron Capital Partners in 2013. Turnover in its last financial year to June 2014 came in at £294.2m and the firm is expected to reveal a figure of more than £500m.

• Murgitroyd – The Glasgow firm of patent attorneys, which last month appointed former Aggreko boss Chris Masters as a non–executive director, posts its annual results.

Tomorrow

• Craneware – Full–year figures are scheduled from the Edinburgh–based firm that specialises in billing software for the US hospital sector. In July the firm said it was confident of delivering an increase in sales and profits after its contract book swelled to a record high.

• Retail sales – The British Retail Consortium is tipped to report “lacklustre” sales for August, according to IHS Global Insight economist Howard Archer, who said a weak reading would fuel fears of a slowdown in third–quarter economic growth from the 0.7 per cent expansion seen in the second quarter.

Wednesday

• Small Business Saturday – The Scottish launch for this year’s campaign, aimed at boosting the profile of small retailers, will take place at Edinburgh City Chambers.

• Goals Soccer Centres – Half–year results will be unveiled by the East Kilbride–based operator of five–a–side football pitches, which is seeking to ramp up its presence in California.

Thursday

• Next – The fashion retailer is expected to see a rise in half–year profits after enjoying spells of warm weather over the summer months. Analysts at Numis expect the firm to turn in pre–tax profits up 5.8 per cent to £343 million, benefitting from sunshine in June and July.

• Dixons Carphone – First–quarter sales are forecast to have grown 3.5 per cent on a like–for–like basis at the electrical goods and mobile phones giant. The retailer 
is valued at about £5 
billion after a merger last summer between Dixons 
and Carphone Warehouse. 
The combined group employs more than 40,000 people in 14 countries.

• Home Retail Group – Argos is likely to report another tough period of trading as it continues to revamp its stores providing customers with iPads to order products instead of catalogue. City analysts expect sales at the chain to have fallen 1.8 per cent in the second quarter, following a 3.9 per cent slide in the first 13 weeks. Sales at Homebase are forecast to have risen 4.1 per cent, slower than the previous quarter’s 5.4 per cent.

Friday

• JD Wetherspoon – The pubs giant is scheduled to release its annual results.