London Report: British economy in fifth straight growth quarter

BRITAIN’S economy is expected to show its continued return to form this week, with official data likely to show a fifth consecutive quarter of expansion.

Figures due from the Office for National Statistics tomorrow are expected to reveal the economy grew by 0.8 per cent in the first quarter, despite worries that February flooding would put a dampener on figures.

Howard Archer of IHS Global Insight said: “Our best bet is that GDP growth rose back up to 0.8 per cent quarter-on-quarter in the first quarter of 2014 after edging down to 0.7 per cent quarter-on-quarter in the fourth quarter of 2013 from 0.8 per cent quarter-on-quarter in both the third and second quarters.”

Other economic data will include GfK consumer confidence for April, due on Wednesday, manufacturing, consumer credit and mortgage approval figures on Thursday and construction data on Friday. Bank of England policymakers Spencer Dale and Andy Haldane are due to face questions from MPs on Wednesday.

The busy corporate calendar starts tomorrow with Huntsworth, Lidco, Petropavlovsk and Whitbread giving full-year results while BP, Carphone Warehouse, Ensco, Essentra, St James’s Place, Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group, Stagecoach Group, Segro, Telecity Group, Redrow, UBM and Utilitywise will also update the market.

On Wednesday Globo, Home Retail Group and Panther Securities give full-year reports while Asia Resource Minerals, Avon Rubber, British American Tobacco, CSR, GlaxoSmithKline, Greene King, Greggs, International Personal Finance, Kazakhmys, Ladbrokes, Next, Playtech, Smith, Standard Life, Superglass Holdings, Thorntons, SVG Capital, Tullow Oil, Ultra Electronics Holdings also give figures.

Thursday’s numbers are set to come from BG Group, British Sky Broadcasting Group, Go-Ahead Group, Howden Joinery Group, Lancashire Holdings, Lloyds Banking Group, Millennium & Copthorne Hotels, N Brown Group, Phoenix Group Holdings, Rolls-Royce, RPS Group, Schroders, Shire, Smith & Nephew, Synthomer, Weir Group, and Wolfson Microelectronics.

On Friday Capital & Counties Properties, Direct Line Insurance Group, Laird, InterContinental Hotels Group, Rentokil Initial, Rexam and Royal Bank of Scotland Group are due to give updates.