Week Ahead

Inflation and Scottish Budget set tone for new year

LK Bennett Edinburgh shop
Inflation and retail figures will be published this week

Inflation figures this week are expected to show the cost of living coming under further control, a day after the Scottish Government hikes taxes for higher earners.

Encouraged by October’s 4.6% reading for consumer price inflation, the lowest level since October 2021, financial markets have started to predict interest rate cuts from the Bank of England.

This is despite protestations from governor Andrew Bailey and his colleagues on the Monetary Policy Committee that such talk is premature.

Inflation is expected to come in at 4.4% year-on-year but should it undershoot, the pound will come under pressure.

Stock markets have been buoyed by the prospect of interest rates at least going no higher and optimistic traders are not only hoping for a late Santa rally but say the FTSE 100 index could return to 8,000 before the year end.

Scotland’s Budget will be delivered by Finance Secretary Shona Robison who is expected to announce a new tax band and cuts to public services. There may also be some attempts to speed up planning applications.

Official UK retail figures on Friday will give a final indication of Christmas trading.

Edinburgh City Council will consider plans for the West Town neighbourhood proposed for land between the airport and Gogarburn.

Diary

Tuesday 19 December

  • First-half results from De La Rue
  • Scottish Budget
  • Edinburgh City Council considers West Town plan
  • EU inflation

Wednesday 20 December

  • Trading statement from Petrofac
  • UK inflation data
  • Interest rate decision from China
  • EU consumer confidence

Thursday 21 December

  • Full-year results from Character Group
  • UK government borrowing

Friday 22 December

  • First-half results from Superdry
  • UK retail sales


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