London Report: More details of Carney’s policy change are due

AFTER Bank of England governor Mark Carney’s landmark forward guidance announcement last Wednesday, documents released this week should provide more clues as to how the new policies were agreed.

The minutes from the monetary policy committee’s latest meeting, due on Wednesday, are likely to hint at a divide among the members over how comprehensive the guidance should be, with some watering down of the policy to bring the majority onside.

In other economic news, inflation figures for July will be released tomorrow, with expectations that the consumer price index will fall to 2.6 per cent from 2.9 per cent in June – still hovering well above the Bank’s two per cent target.

And later in the week retail sales and the latest labour market data should provide more good news, with the heatwave and royal baby boosting high-street sales and the UK’s claimant count set to continue to decline.

Also due tomorrow is the RICS housing survey for July, with forecasts for further increases in its house price balance, and the producer price index, where Investec expects oil prices to drive largest monthly increase since February.

In the corporate calendar, Prudential is the latest of the big insurers to release its half-year results this morning, alongside a trading update from Mitie Group and half-year figures from SVG Capital and Luxfer.

Resolution Limited will follow suit tomorrow, along with half-year earnings from recruiter Michael Page, which warned at its quarterly update in April that conditions were likely to remain tough and has predicted profits will lag last year by 5.2 per cent.

On Wednesday all eyes will turn to the Eurozone, where GDP figures are expected to show that the euro area stopped contracting in the second quarter after six quarters of decline. IHS Global Insight expects Eurozone GDP to have grown 0.1 per cent quarter-on-quarter as retail sales volumes and industrial production rose.

“Looking ahead, the hope for the Eurozone is that current rising confidence encourages businesses to further pare back their job cutting and become more prepared to invest, and also encourages consumers to spend more,” said IHS’s Howard Archer.

Wednesday will also bring half-year results from Rentokil, which announced earlier this month that chief executive Alan Brown would be stepping down, as well as from Balfour Beatty and ENRC.

Rank Group will round off the week with its full-year results on Thursday, alongside half-year figures from Cineworld and Ophir Energy.