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Anniversaries of events that remain unresolved to dominate the week

Anniversaries of events that remain unresolved to dominate the week

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Hello and welcome to the working week,

Prepare yourselves to be reminded of past scandals and war, which still resonate today. Tuesday is the fifth anniversary of the fire that engulfed west London’s Grenfell tower block, exposing shortcomings in the building’s cladding and sparking a crisis for apartment owners across the UK that continues to generate repercussions.

It also happens to be the 40th anniversary of the end of the Falklands war, the wounds from which remain fresh in Buenos Aires.

Friday marks the half-century mark since the break-in at the Watergate hotel-apartment-office complex in Washington. Thankfully, this one was resolved more quickly, although it did leave the irritating legacy of the suffix tacked on to what seems to be every subsequent political scandal.

The latest of these, “partygate”, has a way to run, although the main protagonist, UK prime minister Boris Johnson, will (ironically) this week be the centre of a legitimate social gathering since he turns 58 on Saturday.

Partygate’s spin-off series, Are You Being (Poorly) Served, is likely to see another instalment with the government promising to publish controversial and long-delayed legislation to override the Northern Ireland protocol on Monday. As my colleague Peter Foster noted in his excellent Brexit Briefing newsletter last week, this is unlikely to end well.

Johnson is also expected to announce a new “plan for growth” this week alongside his chancellor Rishi Sunak. After the OECD’s verdict on UK growth next year — only sanctions-hit Russia is forecast to come off worse among G20 nations — the country clearly needs a new plan, if not a new PM to deliver it.

France goes to the polls again on Sunday for the second round of the parliamentary election. The concern for newly elected president Emmanuel Macron is not the far right this time but an alliance from the far left.

There will be at least one resolution this week. Colombians will go to the polls on Sunday for the second round of their country’s presidential election, which will decide whether the populist Rodolfo Hernández can see off former leftwing guerrilla Gustavo Petro. Whatever the outcome, it will be an interesting contest.

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Economic data

It’s going to be a(nother) week for interest rate news. The main attraction will be the gathering of the Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee, but there will also be decisions from the Bank of England and its equivalents in Japan, Switzerland and Brazil.

The question is not whether the tightening of monetary policy will be accelerated but by how much — the answer to this question depends in part on your confidence in the given economy’s ability to achieve a soft landing or whether it is doomed to enter recession.

The jump in US inflation on Friday has fuelled talk of a rapid tightening. Policymakers have already signalled that, at a minimum, the Fed will deliver a string of half-point rate rises. Traders have priced in the federal funds rate rising to roughly 2.9 per cent by the end of the year from its current target range of 0.75 to 1 per cent. The OECD placed its marker last week before the US inflation numbers were announced, calling for faster action from the Fed.


Retail is strongly represented in the earnings calendar this week. The headline act is Tesco, Britain’s biggest supermarket chain, with observers keen to hear more about how inflation is hitting household spending. However, just two months on from its full-year results, few expect the company to deviate from its cautious script that profits this year will be held back by the need to keep prices for shoppers in check.

I asked Jonathan Eley, the FT’s retail correspondent, for a view. “The company has been gaining market share in recent months, but first-quarter sales growth figures will be muddied by the closure of pubs and restaurants in the same period a year ago,” he said. “That boosted supermarket sales but hurt Booker, Tesco’s wholesale operation.”

Among analysts’ comments, Barclays has forecast an overall decline of 1.8 per cent in the UK, with lower volumes partially offset by higher prices.

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.


  • India, May consumer price index (CPI) figures

  • UK, final April GDP data plus April production statistics, construction output and trade figures


  • Germany, final May CPI figures plus ZEW economic sentiment survey

  • Opec monthly oil market report

  • UK, unemployment figures

  • US, May producer price index (PPI) figures.

  • Results: Ashtead Group Q4, Bellway Q2 trading update, Ferguson Q3, Paragon Banking Group H1


  • Brazil, Banco Central do Brasil’s Monetary Policy Committee rate decision

  • China, May industrial production and retail sales figures

  • EU, March industrial production and April trade in goods data

  • France, final May CPI and harmonised index of consumer prices (HICP) figures

  • India, trade statistics

  • Japan, April industrial production data

  • Russia, flash Q1 GDP figures

  • US, Federal Open Market Committee interest rate decision. Also, Wells Fargo housing market index plus May retail and food sales data.

  • Results: Clariant Q1, WHSmith Q3 trading update


  • Canada, April wholesale trade figures

  • EU, eurozone Q1 wages data

  • Ferrari holds capital market day in Maranello, Italy. Chief executive Benedetto Vigna is expected to unveil the company’s new long-term strategy as the sports car maker adjusts to growing demand for electric vehicles.

  • Italy, May CPI data

  • Japan, May trade balance figures

  • Switzerland, interest rate decision

  • UK, Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee interest rate decision

  • US, May residential construction figures

  • Results: Adobe Systems Q2, Boohoo Q1 trading update, Halfords FY


  • Canada, monthly industrial product and raw materials price indices

  • EU, May HICP figures

  • Japan, Bank of Japan Monetary Policy Committee’s interest rate decision

  • UK, May insolvency plus retail sales figures

  • US, May industrial production data

  • Results: Tesco Q1 trading update

World events

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


  • France, the Eurosatory defence industry exhibition event begins in Paris

  • Switzerland, the 12th ministerial conference of the World Trade Organization (MC12), a biennial gathering of the WTO’s most senior decision-making body, continues in Geneva

  • UK, the Cinch Championships, considered a gauge of players’ performance in the upcoming Wimbledon tennis tournament, starts at the Queen’s Club plus London Technology Week begins at various venues in the capital and online


  • 40th anniversary of the Argentine surrender in the Falklands war

  • UK, the fifth anniversary of the fire that engulfed the west London high-rise block Grenfell Tower, leaving 72 people dead and 203 households homeless. Today, the first flight to Rwanda carrying migrants who crossed the English Channel is set to leave. Royal Ascot, the most famous race meeting in the world, considered by many to be the highlight of the British summer social calendar, begins. The first “supermoon” of 2022 will be visible.

  • US, former president Donald Trump turns 76


  • Belgium, Nato defence ministers gather in Brussels for a two-day meeting. The event will include a working dinner to which representatives of Finland, Georgia, Sweden, Ukraine and the EU are invited. A separate meeting of the Ukraine Contact Group, hosted by the US, will take place at Nato headquarters.

  • European Centre Bank president Christine Lagarde speaks at a London School of Economics event


  • 122nd US Open golf tournament tees off at the Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts. Tiger Woods will not be taking part but there will be many other familiar faces on the greens despite the US Golf Association’s unhappiness about players joining the breakaway LIV series. The contest finishes on Sunday.


  • The annual feast of Corpus Christi is celebrated by the Catholic Church and some other western churches

  • Iceland celebrates its national day

  • US, 50th anniversary of the break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters in Washington’s Watergate office-apartment-hotel complex that led to the Watergate scandal


  • UK, final of the rugby union Aviva Premiership season at Twickenham. Plus, Boris Johnson turns 58.

  • US, the 146th annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show — rescheduled from February — begins in New York with almost 3,000 dogs from more than 200 breeds taking part in the second-longest running US sporting event


  • Colombia, second round of voting in the presidential election

  • France, second round of voting in the parliamentary election

  • US, Juneteenth commemoration of the emancipation of enslaved African-Americans as well as celebrating African-American culture

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