A British remake of planes, trains and automobiles


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Hello and welcome to the working week.

Or rather, welcome to “the summer of discontent” if you live in the UK. What started with misery at the pumps due to rising fuel prices, then air travel disruption due to understaffing will this week spread to problems on trains – in the country that gave you this mode transport. A series of nationwide rail strikes and, in London, another underground strike, threaten to cripple the network.

The dispute centers on wage demands and the impact on jobs of efficiency savings made more urgent by falling incomes during pandemic shutdowns. Government ministers, who as this article notes now effectively control all rail funding following changes made during the pandemic, declined to speak directly with the RMT, the main union calling for action.

Whether this will have a big impact on Thursday’s two UK by-elections – this week’s top election news – is a moot point given that the poll already points to a double whammy for the Tories – a “red wall” and a “ blue wall” constituency – amid anger at their leader and the country’s Prime Minister, Boris Johnson.

The aviation industry will also be in the spotlight this week as the annual general meeting of the International Air Transport Association (Iata) is held in Doha. The news here is unlikely to be very positive. Last October, Iata predicted that 2.3 billion people would fly in 2021 and 3.4 billion in 2022, compared to 4.5 billion people who traveled in 2019.

Another international gathering this week will be the delayed meeting of Commonwealth Heads of State in Rwanda. The venue will provoke uncomfortable questions for Prince Charles, who will attend on behalf of the Queen, given the UK’s deal with the country to take in British asylum seekers, a policy the heir to the throne had described as “appalling” according to a report in the Times newspaper.

The week will end with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz hosting his counterparts from other G7 nations for a summit at Bavaria’s secluded Schloss Elmau castle, the same venue his predecessor Angela Merkel chose in 2015. The most notable point here, however , is special guest , India’s Narendra Modi, and whether it will help the Western powers – Australia will do something similar during a state visit to India earlier in the week – in the battle for allies to counter the growing closeness between Russia and China.

Thank you, again, to those of you who write to us to share your views on current events and your opinions on what we should add or lose from the list. Bring them to [email protected]

Economic data

Polls are the theme this week with a series of Purchasing Managers’ Index reports, regional announcements from the Fed in the US and Ifo Business Confidence figures in Germany.

The culmination of speeches by central bankers — and there are a few this week — will be Jay Powell’s semiannual appearance before the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee to present his report on monetary policy. And in case you don’t have enough cost of living data, we’ll also get more inflation updates from Germany, Canada, the UK and Japan.

Companies

Cost of living and shopping trends will be at the heart of discussions among global retail groups meeting in Dublin this week for the Consumer Goods Forum. The business leaders of Unilever, Coca Cola, Crossroads, Tesco and walmart are on the list of speakers.

Not many results announcements this week. FedEx will release fourth-quarter numbers on Thursday, but that was anticipated last week as the U.S. delivery company shrugged off concerns about the economy when it announced a dividend increase and two new board members.

Main economic and corporate reports

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

Monday

  • Germany, May Producer Price Index (PPI) figures

  • UK trade figures, Rightmove monthly house price index plus Office for National Statistics data on housing affordability. Additionally, Jonathan Haskel, Professor of Economics at Imperial College Business School, speaks at techUK’s Tech Policy Leadership conference on the subject of his book. Rebooting the Future: How to Fix the Immaterial Economy

Tuesday

  • Canada, April retail sales figures

  • Monthly UK and Kantar grocery market share figures, plus Bank of England Chief Economist Huw Pill is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants panel in England and Wales during of the East of England Economic Summit

  • Results: Lennar Q2

Wednesday

  • Canada, May Consumer Price Index (CPI) figures

  • EU, consumer confidence flash figures and European Central Bank Governing Council hold non-monetary policy meeting in Frankfurt

  • United Kingdom, May CPI and PPI data

  • In the United States, Federal Reserve Chairman Jay Powell will present his semi-annual report on monetary policy to the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs

  • Reports: Berkeley Group AF, Knowledge base home Q2

Thursday

  • Argentina, Q1 GDP figures

  • Eurozone, France, Germany, UK, US: IHS Markit and S&P Global flash composite (industrials and services) Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) data

  • EU, the ECB publishes its monthly economic bulletin

  • UK, May public sector finance data and GfK consumer confidence survey

  • United States, the Federal Reserve publishes the results of its annual banking stress tests

  • Results: fedex Q4

Friday

  • Germany, monthly Ifo business confidence index

  • Japan, May CPI data

  • Soft Bank AGM

  • Spain, final Q1 GDP figures

  • UK, May retail sales and consumer confidence figures, plus Huw Pill speaking at a conference on ‘Inflation and Debt – The Challenges of Monetary Policy Post-Covid-19’

  • Results: CarMax Q1

Global Events

Finally, here’s a look at some of the other events and milestones from this week.

Monday

  • Argentina, Flag Day holiday, commemorating the death of General Manuel Belgrano, creator of the Argentine flag, in 1820

  • India, Australian Defense Minister Richard Marles visits India, continuing under new Prime Minister Anthony Albanese the country’s focus on closer relations with the subcontinent to counter China

  • Belgium will return a “relic” of Patrice Lumumba, the first Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of Congo, assassinated in 1961, during an official ceremony in Brussels

  • EU Foreign Affairs Council meets in Luxembourg

  • Qatar and CEOs of some of the world’s major airlines will gather for the 78th International Air Transport Association (Iata) Annual General Meeting in Doha

  • Beginning of the meeting of heads of government of Rwanda and the Commonwealth. This event has been postponed from 2020 due to the pandemic

  • Switzerland, the executive council of the World Meteorological Organization meets in Geneva

  • United Kingdom, sixth anniversary of the referendum on EU membership

  • UK, the FT’s Innovative Lawyers Summit returns in person to London with speakers from Chatham House, easyJet and Airbnb to discuss what it means to be a responsible business leader in law today

Tuesday

  • The summer solstice is celebrated in the northern hemisphere, marking the longest day of the year and the first day of summer

  • Prince William, third in line to the British throne, turns 40

  • Ireland, start of the Consumer Goods Forum 2022 World Summit in Dublin

  • In the UK, 40,000 rail staff are set to leave in a series of three-day rail strikes – which are expected to cause six days of disruption

Wednesday

  • Russia, commemoration in Moscow of the anniversary of the German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941

  • UK, the 50th Glastonbury Music Festival begins, after returning from a two-year pandemic-related hiatus to its venue at Worthy Farm in Pilton, Somerset. Highlights include Sir Paul McCartney, Billie Eilish and Elbow

Thursday

  • Belgium and EU leaders meet in Brussels with agenda including endorsement of Croatia’s 2023 eurozone membership bid

  • Granada, general elections

  • Luxembourg, national holiday

  • UK by-elections are being held in two former Tory seats, Wakefield plus Tiverton and Honiton, seen as a litmus test of the extent of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s disapproval after party revelations

Friday

  • Germany, 74th anniversary of the start of the Berlin blockade, one of the first major international crises of the Cold War

  • Venezuela, Armed Forces Day holiday

Saturday

  • Croatia, Slovenia: State Day

  • Germany, start of the 2022 G7 summit at Schloss Elmau, near the town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Bavaria

  • Mozambique, National Day

  • United Kingdom, deadline for the government to extend funding for Transport for London, operator of the capital’s metro and bus network

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