Week ahead: Budget and employment data

Jeremy Hunt
Jeremy Hunt presents his Budget

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt is expected to unveil a package of “Back to Work’ measures in Wednesday’s Budget to encourage economically inactive people into the workforce to help fill more than a million vacancies.

The programme will require hundreds of thousands of benefits claimants to attend more regular meetings with work coaches.

The government will start paying childcare costs on Universal Credit up front, rather than in arrears.

Mr Hunt will also unveil a new tax allowance to replace the super deduction, and is expected to freeze fuel duty, raise the annual and lifetime pension allowances and confirm investment in carbon capture and nuclear expansion.

There will also be a crackdown on those promoting tax avoidance, with tougher penalties for offenders. The UK loses around £400 million a year to marketed tax avoidance, and it is the users of schemes, including agency workers, contractors and freelancers, who can end up with big tax bills, rather than the promoters who sold it to them.

There will be reforms to energy bills, bringing the bills of families on prepayment meters in line with average direct debit energy bill under the Energy Price Guarantee.

UK employment data is due on Tuesday, while the European Central Bank is expected to hike interest rates by 50 basis points on Thursday and indicate that it will continue to hike aggressively to press down on inflation.

Prudential’s shares are up by almost a quarter over the past year, helped by the end of lockdowns in China and Hong Kong, as well as more buoyant financial markets in Asia and indeed worldwide. It reports full-year results on Wednesday.

Monday 13 March

  • Full-year results from Direct Line and Phoenix Group
  • In Europe, quarterly results from Porsche and Tod’s 

Tuesday 14 March

  • Full-year results from Sabre Insurance and Costain
  • First-half results from Harworth and Close Brothers
  • UK unemployment and wage growth
  • US consumer price inflation figures
  • In Europe, quarterly results from Volkswagen

Wednesday 15 March

  • Full-year results from Prudential, Balfour Beatty, Marshalls, Ferrexpo and 4imprint 
  • First-half results from Kin & Carta
  • Trading statement from Trainline
  • The UK Budget
  • EU industrial production
  • US producer price (factory gate) inflation figures
  • US retail sales
  • US NAHB housebuilding industry survey
  • US weekly oil inventories

Thursday 16 March

  • Full-year results from Rentokil Initial, Deliveroo, Gym Group, Savills , OSB and Centamin
  • First-half results from DFS Furniture
  • Trading statement from Halma
  • Interest rate decision from the European Central Bank
  • US new housing permits
  • US new housing starts
  • US weekly unemployment claims

Friday 17 March

  • Full-year results from Bodycote
  • EU consumer price inflation figures
  • US industrial production and capacity utilisation

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