The half week leading into the Christmas break will be a quiet one for economic events, although there is a reasonable chance that the Chancellor will get an early present in the form of higher economic growth.
Howard Archer, chief UK economist at IHS Global Insight, said: “While we expect GDP expansion to be confirmed at 0.7 per cent in the third quarter, there is a very real possibility that growth could be revised up to 0.8 per cent due to construction output coming in higher than previously reported.”
With nothing on the corporate calendar, it will be down to the traditional Santa rally to keep the recent momentum going on the London market, although traders will also be looking at signs of winners and losers emerging on the High Street at this crucial time.
• Rangers – The club is expected to face questions over the team’s on–pitch performances and Ally McCoist’s drawn–out resignation at the agm, while new management will seek to explain how they plan to get the club out of its financial quagmire.
• Financial Policy Committee – Records of the FPC’s last two meetings are due to be published.
• GDP – The third estimate of third-quarter economic growth might nudge the figure up a fraction.
• Balance of payments – Although the deficit on trade in goods was at an all-time record in the third quarter, a record surplus on services and a slightly smaller transfers shortfall means the current account deficit will be around the £24 billion mark.
• Christmas Eve – The London Stock Exchange will close at 12:30pm for the Christmas break.
• Christmas Day – Most stock exchanges will be closed.
• Boxing Day – London market and UK banks closed.