The latest series of purchasing managers’ indices (PMIs) are this week expected to provide reassurance that Britain’s economy remains on an upwards trajectory.
Howard Archer, chief UK economist at IHS Global Insight, said: “The purchasing managers’ surveys for January are likely to show that the UK economy has started off 2015 relatively well, although it has lost some momentum compared to the peak 2014 levels.”
He said the construction PMI in particular is likely to show the sector still expanding despite official figures – which were widely questioned – claiming that the sector contracted sharply during the last quarter.
Elsewhere, the City is braced for BP’s results and more details of its planned response to the plunge in oil prices.
• Manufacturing PMI – Economists say the sector is probably still expanding, but at a modest rate.
• BP – The group will reveal how far collapsing oil prices have eaten into its profits and investment plans when it posts its annual result, with analysts braced for a 25 per cent fall in profits.
• Ocado – The online grocer is expected to deliver the first profit in its 15–year history when it posts its full–year results.
• Services PMI – The dominant sector has been driving UK growth in recent months.
• Sky – The City expects interim earnings to have grown 1 per cent to about £644m, as Sky picked up just over 308,000 extra customers across Europe in the final three months of last year.
• Interest rates – The BoE’s monetary policy committee is unlikely to make any changes, but will no doubt have held a long discussion on inflation.
• Balance of Trade – Britain’s trade deficit is expected to have widened in December.
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