ALL EYES will be on the political polls this week, as the nation gears up for the General Election on Thursday.
With little to separate the popularity of the leading parties, the Conservatives and Labour, many expect no party will gain a majority, while many investors and property buyers are holding off from making decisions until there is a firm result.
In economic news, the construction purchasing managers survey is due for release today and is expected to show growth in the past month,
Howard Archer, of IHS Global Insight, said: “Construction activity clearly expanded in April, albeit at a slightly reduced rate, despite latest hard data pointing to contraction in the sector.
“Specifically, we expect the purchasing managers’ business activity index to have dipped to 57.3 in April, after falling to 57.8 in March from 60.1 in February. While a reading of 57.3 would be the lowest since July 2013, it would still indicate decent expansion in the sector given that a reading of 50.0 is meant to indicate flat activity.”
According to reports, all construction sectors saw slower expansion in March, with the slowdown being most pronounced in civil engineering.
The news is better for the service industry, and April figures are due on Wednesday. The sector has been the strongest driver of growth in the UK, and is predicted to see strong growth again in April, despite some business uncertainty ahead of the General Election.
Trade deficit figures are due on Friday. The deficit is expected to have narrowed to £2.2bn in March after widening to £2.9bn in February.
In corporate news, Aberdeen Asset Management and HSBC are due to report today. Tomorrow, Sainsbury’s will give figures along with Carillion, Direct Line, DS Smith, GlaxoSmithKline, Imperial Tobacco, Inmarsat, Intu Properties, JD Wetherspoon, Legal & General, National Express and Sage.
On election day, Aviva, Beazley, BT Group, Derwent London, Esure, Millennium and Copthorne Hotels, Provident Financial, Randgold Resources, Rightmove, RSA Insurance, SABMiller, Provident Financial, RSA Insurance, Telecity, Trinity Mirror and WM Morrison will report, followed on Friday by numbers coming from companies Numis, BG Group, Intercontinental Hotels, Laird, Man Group and Rolls-Royce.