A FIRST estimate of Britain’s second-quarter economic performance could provide a reality check this week after a year of positive surprises.
Until very recently it appeared as though the pace of activity would step up a gear in the three months to June, but economists have been reining in expectations after poor industrial production and construction figures.
After last month’s jump in inflation, a cooling of the growth rate will make things harder for the monetary policy committee (MPC), with minutes of the latest meeting due on Wednesday.
Bank of England watchers say there’s an outside chance that at least one member of the committee will have broken ranks and voted for a rise in interest rates.
• Babcock International – The company’s update, due to be delivered at its annual meeting, follows the loss of its multi–billion “next generation estates” contract with the MoD.
• Royal Mail – Analysts say the theme of declining letter volumes and improvement in parcel deliveries is likely to continue in the latest update from the former state monopoly.
• Public finances – Official figures should show state borrowing needs dropped slightly in June, to a little over £11 billion for the month.
• MPC – Could we see the first dissenting votes against Mark Carney’s cautious, forewardly guided monetary policy? Probably not.
• Britvic – Britvic is expected to have kept its fizz into the third quarter, with the firm’s brands taking market share from Coca–Cola.
• GDP – Second–quarter growth of about 0.8 per cent is forecast.