Tue. Jan 18th, 2022


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Hello and welcome to the work week.

Prepare yourself. The next seven days will be a struggle as the temperatures cool down the legs, the post-festive season continues and people are struggling with New Year’s resolutions that will test them to the limit.

Across the Northern Hemisphere, countries weighed by the Omicron coronavirus variant and the Christmas holiday seems almost a distant memory. This week’s diary entries include inflation updates and details on how climate change has affected the weather in the US (negatively).

Are there any reasons to be cheerful – other than, of course, the resumption of The Week Ahead newsletter? Well yes.

Covid-19 rules are loosened for British travelers and Belgians who have to isolate themselves. Pandemic data is also added daily, increasing our knowledge of how to use Omicron and indicating that its distribution has reached a peak in some places.

For English cricket fans, the final Test match of the Ashes series starts this week in Hobart, which means the daily stream of miserable points list news will soon be at an end. Not only can Australians enjoy the spectacle, but they can look forward to the start of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne in seven days. And, subject to a court hearing on Monday to decide whether to proceed with the deportation of Novak Djokovic, they have the promise of a new men’s singles champion.

There will likely be positive news from corporate diary items this week. Exciting reports are expected from several leading retailers and Wall Street banks – see the Companies section below. And the Dutch can look forward to a government finally being installed, 10 months after the election.

Things may not seem to be getting any better in general, but there’s always hope if you look hard enough – email me with your idea jonathan.moules@ft.com.

Economic data

This week’s economic data reports will start with EU unemployment figures on Monday. Inflation will also a news item (again) with monthly updates from China, US, India, Japan and France.

Companies

How was your Christmas? This week we will discover how good was it not for a bunch of retailers, mostly in the UK.

The process started with bullish updates last Thursday of Following – A UK retailer that has upgraded its outlook over the past 12 months – and popular bakery chain, Greggs. This week’s updates may be more mixed.

When Asos last updated the market, his CEO left and his shares fell nearly a fifth. Investors will probably be relieved just to hear that things did not get worse in “P1” – the company’s term for the crucial four months to the end of December. There will also be quarterly results this week from retailers in particular Fast retail, owner of Uniqlo, Thursday.

Elsewhere, it’s the start of the banking reporting season – and hope is high after a recent rally in the sector in anticipation of higher interest rates and signs that demand for loans is on the rise. JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and Wells Fargo will kick off the proceedings Friday. Investors are looking for updates on their outlook for 2022.

Key economic and company reports

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

Monday

  • EU, eurozone unemployment rate

  • Results: Brunello Cucinelli FY

Tuesday

  • EU, industrial production figures

  • UK, British Retail Consortium-KPMG Monthly Retail Sales Monitor Report

  • World Economic Forum publishes its Global Risks Report

Wednesday

  • China, India, Russia, USA: Monthly Consumer Price Index (CPI) Data

  • EU, India: monthly industrial production figures

  • Italy, retail sales figures

  • Only eat takeaways K4 trade update

  • UK, 2020-based interim national population projections

  • USA, Federal Reserve Beige Book Published

  • Whitbread K3 trade update

Thursday

  • Asos trade declaration

  • China, monthly trade data

  • Italy, industrial production figures

  • Japan, USA: Monthly Producer Price Index Data

  • Marks and Spencer K3 trade update

  • Persimmon trade update

  • Tesco K3 trade declaration

  • UK, Recruitment & Employment Confederation and KPMG monthly work report

  • Results: Südzucker V3, Fast retail V1

Friday

  • EU, monthly international trade in goods figures

  • France, VPI data

  • Germany, full year GDP figures

  • UK, monthly GDP estimate, industrial production data, trade figures and productivity data

  • US, industrial production and retail sales figures

  • Results: Citigroup Q4, JPMorgan Chase Q4, Wells Fargo V4

World events

Finally, here is an overview of other events and milestones this week.

Monday

  • The relaxation of Covid-19 rules comes into force in Belgium. People who are fully vaccinated will no longer need to isolate themselves if they come into close contact with someone infected with coronavirus and the time for isolation is reduced from 10 to seven days. This follows a relaxation of rules for fully vaccinated travelers arriving in the UK, who can now take a cheaper lateral flow test instead of a PCR test.

  • Belgium, NATO-Ukraine Commission to meet in Brussels

  • Netherlands, almost 10 months after the election, the new Dutch government will be installed

  • USA, the Golden Globes Awards for Film and Television Announced

Tuesday

  • Cuba, 20 years since the first prisoners arrived at Guantánamo Bay

  • UK, Hilary term begins for Supreme Court and Court of Appeal

Wednesday

  • The Military Committee, NATO’s highest military authority, meets in Heads of Defense session at NATO Headquarters in Brussels. Separately, the NATO-Russia Council will meet to discuss the build-up of Russian troops along Ukraine’s border

Thursday

  • Italy, tenth anniversary of the Costa Concordia vessel disaster that killed 32 people

  • The US, the space agency Nasa and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announce where 2021 positions are for global temperatures

  • The UN will publish its World Economic Situation and Prospects Report for 2022

Friday

  • Australia, start of the fifth Test cricket match in the Ashes series in Hobart

  • New Year Celebrations for Orthodox Christians

  • Tunisia, Anniversary of the overthrow of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali

Saturday

Sunday

  • Ireland, state ceremonial 100th anniversary event in Dublin Castle to mark the beginning of the formal handover of power to the Irish Free State

  • The Netherlands, marches in Amsterdam by protesters opposed to the government’s response to coronavirus

  • Serbia holds constitutional referendum on its judiciary

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