ECONOMY

A week of elections, for better or worse

Global Economy updates

This article is an on-site version of our The Week Ahead newsletter. Sign up here to get the newsletter sent straight to your inbox every Sunday

Hello and welcome to the working week,

It’s election time. From Toronto to Berlin, Moscow to Reykjavík, not forgetting Douglas on the Isle of Man, the next seven days are peppered with national plebiscites. Whether you think this is a good week for democracy could depend on where you live — I am thinking of this particular good analysis of Russia’s crackdown on dissenters — as well as your political leaning.

There is nothing certain about elections — as Canada’s Justin Trudeau may find out after calling a snap poll in an effort to secure his Liberal party a parliamentary majority — but we know one thing about the federal elections in Germany next Sunday: It will be the end of the Angela Merkel era. This is significant for Germans, but it will also reverberate across neighbouring nations, as this piece from our Paris bureau chief, Victor Mallet, explains.

This seems like a good moment to mention Europe Express, the FT’s daily newsletter about politics on the continent. You can sign up to receive it by clicking here. You can also register your vote — either for or against — on The Week Ahead by emailing me at [email protected].

Democratic appointment is not a requirement for world leaders gathering at the UN headquarters in New York for the opening day of the general assembly on Tuesday. But they will have a lot to discuss given the recent exodus of allied forces from Afghanistan and tensions between the west and China.

Neither is a Covid-19 jab, according to UN secretary-general António Guterres. However, be prepared for more vaccine news as booster shots are rolled out in the US and many British schoolchildren get their first doses.

Companies

Adobe is expected to show its strong revenue growth is continuing, in third-quarter results on Tuesday. As my colleague Chris Nuttall has noted, the company has been one of the less publicised beneficiaries of pandemic lockdowns. With coronavirus continuing to disrupt businesses, and Zoom meetings becoming de rigueur, analysts forecast boom times for Adobe’s document and e-signature services. The Street expects revenues of $3.89bn for the quarter and earnings per share of $3.01.

Another, better recognised, beneficiary of the pandemic is FedEx, which reports first-quarter numbers on Tuesday. Its Ground unit, which generates about 30 per cent of revenues, might have been hit by rising labour costs but is expected by analysts to report healthy growth on the back of the ongoing ecommerce boom.

Economic data

Interest rates will be a theme of the economic week with central bank committees meeting in Tokyo, London and Stockholm as well as other places to decide whether to tighten monetary policy. The European Central Bank is already considering raising rates, according to its internal modelling. Last week’s UK employment and inflation data have switched the debate at the Bank of England from when to tighten monetary policy to how much to tighten it, as this piece from my colleague Chris Giles explains.

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.

Monday

  • Germany, monthly producer price index

  • Sweden, Riksbank’s monetary policy meeting

  • UK, property website Rightmove’s monthly house price index

  • US, monthly Wells Fargo Housing Market Index

Tuesday

  • Brazil, Banco Central do Brasil’s monetary policy meeting

  • Japan, Bank of Japan’s monetary policy meeting

  • OECD publishes its interim economic outlook, outlining the near-term prospects for the global economy

  • South Africa, South African Reserve Bank’s monetary policy meeting

  • UK, Office for National Statistics monthly public sector net borrowing data

  • US, current account balance

  • US, Department of Commerce’s monthly residential construction data

  • Trading of shares in Universal Music Group, spun off from Vivendi, begins

  • Results: Adobe Systems Q3, FedEx Q1, Kingfisher H1

Wednesday

  • EU, eurozone consumer confidence figures

  • US, existing home sales data

  • US, Federal Reserve monetary policy meeting 

  • Results: General Mills Q1, OVS H1

Thursday

  • Argentina, quarterly unemployment figures

  • Canada, retail sales figures

  • EU, European Central Bank monetary policy meeting

  • EU, France, Germany, UK, US: IHS Markit purchasing managers’ index data

  • Norway, monetary policy meeting

  • Switzerland, monetary policy meeting

  • Taiwan, Benchmark interest rate

  • UK, Bank of England’s monetary policy meeting

  • US, initial jobless claims

  • Results: Costco Wholesale Q4, Investec trading update, Nike Q1

Friday

  • Brazil, inflation data

  • Germany, Ifo Institute monthly business confidence index

  • Japan, consumer price index

  • Japan, manufacturing and services PMIs

  • UK, GfK consumer confidence figures

  • Vietnam, monthly inflation data

  • OECD launches its Business and Finance Outlook 2021

World events

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

Monday

  • Austria, International Atomic Energy Agency’s 65th conference starts in Vienna

  • Canada, voting for snap general election called by Justin Trudeau in August

  • Jewish festival of Sukkot, or the Feast of the Tabernacles, begins

  • Russia, results from Duma election announced

  • UK, Transport for London opens the Northern Line extension, the first major Tube extension this century

  • US, Covid vaccine booster shot rollout starts

Tuesday

  • Italy, Milan Fashion Week begins

  • UK, Chelsea Flower Show starts at the Royal Hospital Chelsea, London

  • US, opening day of the UN General Assembly in New York

Wednesday

  • UK, Summer Exhibition opens at the Royal Academy of Arts in London

  • UK, vaccination of children aged 12 to 15 begins

Thursday

  • UK, elections for the 24 members of the House of Keys on the Isle of Man

  • US, President Joe Biden hosts a summit of leaders of ‘Quad’ countries — Australia, India and Japan — to discuss issues in the Indo-Pacific region

Friday

  • US, 59th annual New York Film Festival begins

  • US, 43rd Ryder Cup golf tournament begins at Whistling Straits, Wisconsin

Saturday

  • Iceland, general election

  • UK, annual Labour party conference begins in Brighton

Sunday

  • Germany, Bundestag election takes place and Angela Merkel, who has been the country’s chancellor since 2005, steps down

  • US, 74th annual Tony Awards for the best Broadway theatre productions

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