Look Ahead: UK awaits vitals amid talk of Brexit


Europe will be monitoring political manoeuvering in Downing Street this week in an effort to gain some clarity on the process surrounding Britain’s exit from the EU. 

In the week ahead, Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to present her party’s legislative programme to the House of Commons, according to The Guardian.

May, whose Conservative Party lost its majority in the Commons during a recent election, plans to push for a “hard Brexit,” as described in a speech on Wednesday by Queen Elizabeth II. Economists and investors will be looking in the coming days to incremental economic data for the effects of Brexit on the sentiment of British businesses and consumers.

On the other side of the Atlantic, economists, investors, and executives will monitor a smattering of important US economic data releases that will gauge the mood of American consumers, corporate health, and the general direction of the US economy.

MONDAY

  • The Confederation of British Industry releases its latest distributive trades data, which help gauge consumer spending and, by extension, the prospects of retailers and wholesalers. Analysts will be watching whether basic measures of consumer confidence, such as clothing and grocery purchases, will show signs of life.

  • The US Census Bureau releases details on orders of durable goods – big-ticket items such as vehicles and computers – for the month of May. Market observers will be watching whether US consumers will grow less cautious and whether businesses will boost the first quarter’s weak spending.

TUESDAY

  • The Conference Board releases US consumer confidence data for the month of June. After a surge early in the year, consumers became less confident in April and May but remained optimistic overall. Look for affirmation of those figures on Friday, when the University of Michigan’s Consumer Survey Center releases the latest results of its consumer confidence survey.

WEDNESDAY

  • The National Association of Realtors releases its pending home sales index for the month of May. The index is another indicator of consumer confidence as well as an important reading of the consumer lending environment.

THURSDAY

  • The Bank of England releases a measure of the UK money supply. Inflation has become a significant concern for the UK economy, hitting a four-year high of 2.9% this month, driven both by Brexit uncertainty and rising global commodity prices.

  • The China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing is expected to release its latest Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index. The measure of manufacturing activity has expanded for ten straight months, with robust growth in the manufacturing of equipment, technology, and consumer goods.

  • Economists and investors will receive a big-picture view of the US economy when final first-quarter GDP figures are released. The US Department of Commerce also will release corporate profit data for the first quarter. Jobless claims data may lend some insight on the recent mixed signals of the labour market, which has seen relatively slow wage growth and hiring despite a 16-year low for unemployment.

FRIDAY