Whitehall cuts headline news for UK economy

GEORGE Osborne’s plans to cut £11.5bn from Whitehall budgets for 2015-16 will be headline news this week.

The chancellor will deliver his spending review on Wednesday, with expectations that key cuts will involve raising the pension age and removing payments such as the winter fuel benefit for the well off.

“We are out of intensive care and our job now is to secure the recovery,” Osborne told the BBC over the weekend. “There certainly is a chance of a relapse if we abandon our economic plan.”

Despite tax rises and cuts, public borrowing has remained stubbornly high over the past year, and data on Friday showed public net debt climbed to record levels in May.

In further economic news, UK mortgage approval figures are due out tomorrow, while the latest Confederation of British Industry (CBI) Distributive Trades Survey numbers will be released on Wednesday.

Thursday will bring a slew of economic reports, including the Lloyds Business Barometer, the Bank of England credit conditions survey and news on first quarter gross domestic product (GDP).

The Gfk Consumer Confidence report for June will be published on Friday.

In the corporate calendar, the week begins today with updates from Cohort, Andor Technology, Porvair and Devro.

Tomorrow Accumuli, Advanced Computer Software Group, Carpetright, Plastics Capital, Private & Commercial Finance Group, Trifast and Northgate are due to give final figures while Domino Printing Sciences, IDOX and Lo-Q also update the market.

On Wednesday Hayward Tyler Group, The Real Good Food Company, Carphone Warehouse Group and Standard Chartered will all be releasing reports.

Thursday will bring news from Betfair Group, Greene King, North River Resources, Photo-Me International, Safestore Holdings, Stobart Group, Debenhams and John Wood Group. Despite upbeat news from Debenhams in its last report, Cantor Fitzgerald rates the retailer a “sell” and says its third quarter figures are likely to have been affected by a cold, wet weather and heavy promotional competition.

Finally Schroder Real Estate Investment Trust and Sirius Real Estate are due to report on Friday.