After a period of turmoil, change and mourning in China, Vice Premier and Covid-19 czar Sun Chunlan said the fight against the virus had entered a “new stage”. The potential unlockalbeit gradually, from Beijing’s zero-Covid policy is likely to make headlines, as will the ensuing inflationary one pressure. Government institutions and business will continue faced the delicate task to pay tribute to late President Jiang Zemin without offending current President Xi Jinping.
Now that electricity has been restored in some parts of Ukraine struggle increasing munitions production in the west is in focus. Industrial capacity and a disrupted global supply chain will be high on the agenda for defense ministers at the annual European Intervention Initiative in Oslo and the European Defense Agency’s annual conference in Brussels. This week may also see Russian President Vladimir Putin respond to his American counterpart, Joe Biden, who said he was open to talking about ending the conflict.
Nationwide’s sharply falling house price index continues to dampen the Christmas spirit in the UK. Will Wednesday’s Halifax Home Price Index data tell the same story? The news of record food inflation is certainly preparing us for the upcoming British Retail Consortium retail sales figures in November and is likely to play a large part in discussions at the Associated British Foods annual general meeting.
It will be a week of sports all over the world. The men’s FIFA World Cup in Qatar will reach the quarter-finals. The Pakistan-England cricket Test series is underway and the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating final begins in Italy on Thursday.
The Nobel prizes will be awarded at a ceremony in Oslo on Saturday.
This week’s highlights include Halifax House Price Indices for November and Purchasing Managers for the UK, Russia and EU. Also note EU retail sales, German factory orders and industrial production, third quarter EU gross domestic product and BRC sales, and trade balance data from the US.
This week’s results were weak, but Costco Wholesale is expected to grow on sustained demand for fresh food, groceries and fuel despite decades-high inflation. Lululemon Athletica reported on Thursday and Carl Zeiss Meditec on Friday.
In UK news, we’re likely to hear more about Mulberry’s claim that luxury shoppers are shunning London for Europe following the decision to end VAT-free shopping in the UK. CEO Thierry Andretta said: “We are losing 45-50 percent of our potential business [at the Bond Street store] due to the end of tax-free [shopping].”
Read the calendar for the entire week ahead here.
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