EconomyBusy week for central banks as Fed, BoE and...

Busy week for central banks as Fed, BoE and BoJ set interest rates


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Hello and welcome to the working week.

Central bankers will be in focus this week with three significant interest rate announcements on consecutive days.

Federal Reserve chair Jay Powell will kick things off on Wednesday when the Federal Open Market Committee announces its rate decision. He is widely expected to announce the Fed will keep rates at 5.5 per cent.

There is more uncertainty about the announcement by Andrew Bailey at the Bank of England on Thursday, though a 25 basis point rise is on the cards. The BoE will be heavily influenced by the UK inflation figures out the day before the Monetary Policy Committee meets and expected to show a slight increase in the headline rate compared with last month.

On Friday it is the Bank of Japan’s turn. No change is the most likely option here, but governor Kazuo Ueda last week raised the possibility of ending the period of negative interest rates by the end of the year.

Another week, another tech initial public offering, or indeed two. After Arm’s bumper first day of trading in New York last Thursday, it is the turn of Instacart and Klaviyo, both set to announce the final pricing on Monday ahead of their US listing. Does this hail a revival in IPOs? Catch up with the background story here.

The main earnings theme (in a light week for results) will be retail, and mainly UK-based, with Kingfisher, Next and Ocado all reporting. This year’s rain-soaked British summer (at least more rain soaked than last year) has been blamed for shoppers staying away from the high street in August, so expectations are not high. Investors in Kingfisher are looking for an update on the DIY chain’s strategy of opening new stores while increasing the percentage of sales generated online.

One of the most surprising political diary events this week will be the meeting of Sir Keir Starmer, the UK opposition Labour party’s leader, and French president Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday for talks at the Élysée Palace. This PR coup for Starmer will enable him to present his foreign policy goals while burnishing his credentials as a prime minister in waiting.

If you have not read it already, I recommend the FT Magazine cover piece on why the British prime minister Rishi Sunak thinks he can still scoop the next general election.

Your thoughts about the most important items this week are welcome. Email me at jonathan.moules@ft.com or, if you have received this in your inbox, just hit reply.

One more thing . . . 

Autumn arrives this week in the northern hemisphere, meteorologically speaking. So here is one last glimpse of summer and a piece I wrote about the joys of taking my family to Greece by train.

Key economic and company reports

Here is a more complete list of what to expect in terms of company reports and economic data this week.

Monday

  • Former UK prime minister Liz Truss gives a speech on the state of the British economy at an Institute for Government online event

  • Michele Bullock becomes Reserve Bank of Australia governor, succeeding Philip Lowe following her appointment by Treasurer Jim Chalmers in July

  • Instacart and Klaviyo are expected to announce the final pricing of their initial public offerings in New York

  • Japan: Respect for the Aged Day. Financial markets closed

  • UK: Rightmove September house price index

  • Results: Phoenix Group H1, S4Capital H1

Tuesday

  • OECD Interim Economic Outlook Report

  • EU: August consumer price index (CPI) and harmonised index of consumer prices (HICP) inflation rate data

  • Results: AutoZone Q4, Hargreaves Lansdown FY, Kingfisher H1, Moonpig trading update ahead of AGM, Naked Wines FY, Ocado Q3 trading statement, Sigma Healthcare H1, Tui trading update

Wednesday

  • China: policy rate decision

  • UK: August CPI and retail price index (RPI) inflation rate figures. Plus, the Office for National Statistics House Price Index

  • US: Federal Open Market Committee interest rate announcement

  • Results: Dunelm FY, FedEx Q1, Galliford Try FY, General Mills Q1, M&G H1, Mediobanca FY, OVS H1, Oxford BioMedica H1, Ten Entertainment H1

Thursday

  • EU: September Flash Consumer Confidence Indicator

  • UK: Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee interest rate announcement. Also, public sector net borrowing figures

  • Results: CVS FY, Darden Restaurants Q1, DFS Furniture FY, JD Sports H1, Next H1, SSP Group trading update

Friday

  • EU, France, Germany, Japan, UK, US: September S&P Global/Cips purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for manufacturing and services

  • Japan: Bank of Japan Monetary Policy Committee interest rate announcement

  • UK: August retail sales figures

  • Results: Investec trading update

World events

Finally, here is a rundown of other events and milestones this week.

Monday

  • UK: ninth anniversary of the Scottish independence referendum. Also, hundreds of journalists, in Scotland as well as the rest of the country, who work for regional newspaper publisher National World are to strike over pay

  • US: Prince William begins a two-day visit to New York ahead of The Earthshot Prize Innovation Summit tomorrow, taking place during New York Climate Week and on the same day as the 78th opening of the UN General Assembly

Tuesday

  • France: UK Labour party leader Sir Keir Starmer to meet French president Emmanuel Macron at the Élysée Palace, Paris

  • Italy/UK: Milan Fashion Week begins, as London Fashion Week ends

Wednesday

  • France: King Charles and Queen Camilla arrive in Paris for a three-day state visit, postponed in March after pension-reform protests turned violent

  • UK: junior doctors and the more senior hospital consultants will strike together for the first time in England in their separate disputes over pay

Thursday

  • Financial Times Business Book of the Year shortlist announced

  • UK: National Centre for Social Research publishes its 40th annual British Social Attitudes survey, uncovering changes in social, political and moral attitudes

Friday

Saturday

  • Autumn officially begins with the arrival of the Autumn Equinox

  • China: the 19th Asian Games, postponed from September 2022 owing to Covid restrictions, opens in Hangzhou. It will run until October 8

  • UK: Liberal Democrat party’s autumn conference begins in Bournemouth

Sunday

  • Jewish commemoration of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, begins

  • UK: annual sheep drive across London Bridge

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