Stage set for more austerity as the chancellor gives Autumn Statement

THE biggest news of the week will come from chancellor George Osborne on Wednesday, when he delivers his Autumn Statement.

Osborne has already revealed he will be continuing Britain’s austerity drive, saying in a television interview that to turn back from the policy now would be “a complete disaster for our country”.

His half-yearly financial report will be followed on Thursday by the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) decision on interest rates. Economists predict no movement on the 0.5 per cent interest rate or quantitative easing.

Manufacturing PMI is set to be announced today, along with Bank of England publishes Funding for Lending data, followed by construction and services PMI tomorrow and on Wednesday.

In corporate news, building services giant Wolseley will update the market tomorrow, along with Character Group, Greene King and Dolphin Capital and ITE Group.

On Wednesday Brewin Dolphin, Innovation Group, Numis, Sage Group, First Property, Stagecoach and Tesco will give results.

Thursday will see figures from DS Smith, Caretech Holdings and luxury bag maker Mulberry, which delivered a profit warning in October. PZ Cussons and Standard Chartered will also update the market.

On Friday Scottish Investment Trust will give full-year results, while Berkeley Group will announce interim earnings.

It is also a busy day for annual general meetings, including those of Air Partner and Associated British Foods.