October 23, 2021

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This article is an on-site version of our The Week Ahead newsletter. Sign up here to get the newsletter sent straight to your inbox every Sunday

Hello and welcome to the working week.

Climate change has been a big theme this past season with extreme weather conditions, from flooding in China and Germany to scorching temperatures in Canada and the north-west US states. The long-awaited, and weighty, report by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, due for publication on Monday, will be gaining particular attention from politicians and the media.

Will it convince the sceptics? Perhaps not. I was amazed to read in the Financial Times on Thursday that the science community still struggles to link the extreme weather that has been terrorising people around the world with global warming. This despite record levels being recorded for up to 18 of the earth’s 31 “vital signs”, according to this article by Chelsea Bruce-Lockhart on the FT’s data journalism team.

The Tokyo Olympics are over, but that will not stop the record-breaking results. This week will bring tears and celebrations to many British households, not because of injury on the running track or bike collisions in the velodrome, but due to young people receiving GCSE and A-level results in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and National 4s and 5s and Highers in Scotland. This includes the Moules family, in which two of our three children have taken GCSEs this year. Concerns have already been raised about grade inflation, especially for A-levels, Highers and Advanced Highers given their importance for securing university places. Expect more of this — although the world looks different for those of us eager to present the best case for our children’s grades.

Thank you again to all those who have been in touch — at jonathan.moules@ft.com — about this newsletter’s new format. If I do not reply to correspondence this week, it is because I am taking what may feel like a very necessary family holiday. This also means that The Week Ahead will be taking a break. It will be back in a fortnight’s time.

Companies

The more conventional (corporate) results season is drawing to a close. Entertainment and leisure pursuits are a theme, with earnings calls by Walt Disney, Tui Travel and InterContinental Hotels.

Flutter, which reports numbers on Tuesday, has had a strong pandemic, with online gambling ballooning while people have been stuck at home during lockdowns. In the first quarter, revenue was up 32 per cent versus the same period in 2020 and its US brand FanDuel is easily the market leader in the majority of states where sports betting is now legal. Storm clouds are on the horizon, however, namely, Flutter’s tussle with the Murdoch family’s Fox Corp about the value of a stake in FanDuel that Fox was due to have a right to buy at “fair market value” in July.

Another company that has benefited from lockdowns is Deliveroo. Again, the concern is what happens next. The London-based business has already upgraded its growth forecasts for the year, saying last month that it expects customer spending on food deliveries to rise by as much as 60 per cent. But as its battle with Just Eat in the UK intensifies and regulatory pressures rise in continental Europe, investors may be concerned if losses widen further.

Economic data

A quieter week than of late for economic data, but one dominated by inflation figures from the US and China. Meanwhile, the UK gets an update on the vaccine-fuelled rebound with preliminary second-quarter gross domestic product figures, British Retail Consortium numbers on retail sales and housing data from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. The US heads a seasonally light run of government bond auctions with its quarterly refunding.

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

China, monthly consumer and producer price index data

Germany, trade balance figures

UK, deadline for Lord Rothermere to make a formal offer for the Daily Mail, aiming to take it into private hands

Aramco H1, Barrick Gold Q2, BioNTech Q2, Hargreaves Lansdown FY

Tuesday

Abrdn H1, Flutter Entertainment H1, HelloFresh H1, InterContinental Hotels Q2, M&G H1, Munich Re H1, SoftBank Q1

Wednesday

Germany, Consumer price index

UK, Heathrow monthly traffic figures

US, consumer price figures

ABN Amro Q2, Admiral Group H1, Ahold Delhaize Q2, Cathay Pacific H1, Deliveroo H1, eBay Q2, Eon H1, Prudential H1, Salzgitter H1, Thyssenkrupp Q3

Thursday

China, monthly crop supply and demand outlook

EU, Eurostat publishes monthly industrial production figures

India, monthly CPI and industrial production figures

Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries monthly oil market report

UK, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors monthly residential market survey

UK, quarterly mortgage arrears and possessions report

UK, Office for National Statistics monthly and quarterly GDP estimates

UK, ONS construction output data for Great Britain

US, Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics producer price indices

Aegon Q2, Aviva H1, Deutsche Telekom Q2, Foxconn Q2, Hapag-Lloyd H1, Henkel H1, MTN H1, RWE H1, Tui Travel Q3, Toshiba Q1, Walt Disney Q3, Zurich Insurance H1

Friday

France, preliminary Q2 employment figures

France, Insee, the national statistics agency, monthly inflation (CPI) rate

Japan, monthly producer price index figures

Alrosa Q2, Rusal H1, Suzuki Motor Corp Q1

World events

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

Monday

Tuesday

UK, A-level results for England and Wales, and in Scotland results of National 4s and 5s, Highers and Advanced Highers published

Wednesday

UK, rescheduled Henley Regatta begins

US, Elvis Week starts at the late singer’s home, Graceland, Memphis

Thursday

UN, International Youth Day

UK, GCSE results released for England, Wales and Northern Ireland

UK, “Glorious 12th”, when the grouse shooting season begins

Friday

Germany, first game of the season for the Bundesliga, the professional association football league in Germany

Spain, kick-off for Spain’s La Liga season

UK, English Premier League starts its season

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