Economic growth figures at home and in America will take centre stage this week, with Britain expected to enjoy a strengthening of its recovery rate.
Survey evidence has beaten expectations over recent months, suggesting quarter-on-quarter growth could be as high as 1 per cent. Further leading indicators will also be published.
Economist Howard Archer, at IHS, said: “UK GDP growth is expected to have picked up to 0.8 per cent quarter-on-quarter in the first quarter of 2014… there is a very real possibility that it could come in even stronger.”
In the City, RBS and Lloyds will be among a raft of blue-chip heavyweights reporting, with pay and bonuses back in sharp focus after the rebellion at Barclays’ annual meeting.
• European Central Bank – President Mario Draghi is speaking in Bonn ahead of an 8 May meeting that could see further ECB action to tackle the eurozone’s stagnation.
• GDP – Most economists have pencilled in figures a shade under 1 per cent as the UK economic recovery is still gaining momentum.
• Whitbread – Analysts are expecting a jump in full–year profits helped by growth in its Costa chain of coffee shops.
• Home Retail Group – The Argos owner reports full–year results after a buoyant trading update last month.
• Lloyds Banking Group – Analysts at Morgan Stanley expect first–quarter results to show underlying profits up 24 per cent to £1.8 billion.
• Weir Group – Investors will hope for an update at the AGM on its bid for Metso.
• Wolfson Microelectronics – First–quarter figures released.
• RBS – Investors are hoping for a slight rise in operating profits, to around £900 million.