Week ahead: Contrast between EU and UK laid bare

Travel agent Thomas Cook is expected to provide news on its recovery this week. Picture: Getty

Travel agent Thomas Cook is expected to provide news on its recovery this week. Picture: Getty

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The improvement in the UK economy should filter down to the markets this week as consumer brands including Thomas Cook and B&Q reveal results.

The contrast with the struggling eurozone will be laid bare as B&Q’s parent Kingfisher sees benefits at home offset by poor trading in France and a falling euro. Appliances retailer AO World will also show both sides of the coin, as it recently charged into the German market.

And while a revision of UK GDP is not expected to hold any surprises, all eyes will be on Europe, where inflation figures and a key survey on the German economy will fuel speculation that quantitative easing is on the way if they show any weakness.

WEEK AHEAD

Today

• Cranswick – The pork company has said first–half figures are likely to be similar to last year, when revenues hit £483.5 million.

Tomorrow

• Severn Trent – The water company’s half–year results will be of less interest than any update on negotiations with watchdog Ofwat that will be key to profitability over the next five years.

• Kingfisher – Although the firm’s British brands, B&Q and Screwfix, have enjoyed a good summer, analysts expect profits will be dragged down by their counterparts in France and Poland.

• AO World – The appliances retailer will be pressed for an early update on its new operation in Germany when it posts half–year results.

Wednesday

• Thomas Cook – The travel agent is expected to pass another milestone in its recovery journey when it reports an increase in earnings for the year, to around £323m.

• LendingCrowd – Chairman Bill Dobbie and chief executive Stuart Lunn will host a breakfast seminar in Edinburgh for the Scottish crowdfunding platform.

• UK GDP – Economists are not expecting the headline figure to change in the second revision.

Thursday

• Marketing Society – Robin Wight, president of Engine and WRCS, will be guest speaker at the society’s St Andrew’s Dinner at the Balmoral in Edinburgh, when new fellows are due to be announced.

• Scottish holiday parks – A detailed report into the sector is due to be published, highlighting its value to the economy.

• Thanksgiving – US stock exchanges will be closed for the national holiday.

Friday

• GfK Consumer confidence – The index dropped by one point to –2 in October and November normally sees a small decline on seasonal grounds.

• Eurozone inflation – The latest “flash estimate” of consumer prices is keenly awaited as the currency block teeters on the verge of deflation.

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