A BUSY week on the economic front is expected to confirm a further slowdown for inflation, with tomorrow’s data tipped to show the consumer prices index fell to 1.1 per cent last month – its lowest level in more than five years.
Wednesday brings the latest minutes from the Bank of England’s monetary policy committee, which many observers believe will keep borrowing costs on hold until well into next year as inflation remains below target.
Howard Archer, chief UK and European economist at IHS Global Insight, believes Thursday’s retail sales figures will show a “modest” month-on-month rise of 0.2 per cent for October. That would compares with the previous month’s 0.3 per cent decline.
• Mitie – The outsourcing firm, which employs about 8,000 people in Scotland, will unveil its half–year figures, having told shareholders in August that it had made a “positive” start to its new financial year.
• ReNeuron – First–half results are also due from the stem cell therapy specialist, which has been running clinical trials at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee.
• EasyJet – The budget carrier’s annual results should show more strong growth, despite testing economic conditions in many of its markets. It expects profits of as much as £580 million – representing an increase of 21 per cent on last year.
• Optos – The Fife–based eyecare specialist, which is due to launch its latest retinal scanner next year, posts its full–year results.
• Royal Mail – Lower half–year results are expected as the privatised group’s operations come under pressure at home and in Europe. Operating profits before transformation costs are forecast to be down by 8.1 per cent to about £260m in the wake of tough competition in its parcels business in the UK and its European delivery unit, GLS.
• Centrica – The Scottish Gas–owner delivers its latest trading update as a mild start to the autumn and a competition inquiry weigh on prospects for investors. The statement will be the last under outgoing boss Sam Laidlaw, who will be replaced by BP executive Iain Conn in January.
• Celtic – Shareholders are due to gather at Celtic Park for the Premiership club’s annual general meeting.
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