London Report: Petrol prices to help inflation to a four-year low

INFLATION is expected to hit a four-year low, with data this week likely to show petrol prices and the pound’s strength controlling prices.

Consumer Price Index (CPI) figures due out tomorrow are forecast to show inflation at 1.7 per cent in February, down from 1.9 per cent in January. and the lowest since October 2009.

Samuel Tombs of Capital Economics said: “The contribution of fuel prices to inflation should ease thanks to the 0.5 per cent monthly fall in pump prices in February. The contribution of utility bills to inflation may also fade a little.”

In other economic news Friday brings the final GDP estimate for 2013, with analysts forecasting 0.7 per cent growth in the UK economy in the last quarter of 2013.

Blerina Uruci, of Barclays, said: “We expect the final estimate of Q4 GDP to remain unrevised at 0.7 per cent, confirming the positive contribution of investment and net trade as seen in the second release.”

Meanwhile Britain’s current account deficit – the gap between imports and exports – is forecast to narrow to £14bn in the last quarter of 2013, from £20.7bn in the third quarter.

The corporate calendar starts today with full-year results from Centamin and Plant Health Care and interim results from Allergy Therapeutics.

Tomorrow’s full-year results are due from Accesso Technology, AG Barr, Corero Network Security, 888 Holdings, Faroe Petroleum, KBC Advanced Technologies, Kingfisher, Polyus Gold International, Quixant and S&U while Carnival, easyJet, Nanoco Group, Sinclair IS Pharma, Topps Tiles and Wolseley will also report.

On Wednesday Alliance Pharma, Bellway, Chime Communications, Dolphin Capital Investors, EnQuest, IQE, Lamprell, Marshalls, ServicePower Technologies and TUI Travel are all due to update the market.

On Thursday it is the turn of Afren, Biome Technologies, Churchill China, Hilton Food, IFG Group, JKX Oil & Gas and Stock Spirits to deliver full-year figures.

Compass, Daily Mail & General Trust, London Stock Exchange and Thomas Cook are also due to give interim figures.

Finally on Friday Asia Resource Minerals, Chesnara, Imperial Innovations Group Optimal Payments, Songbird Estates and Stanley Gibbons are scheduled to report.