Investors will be eyeing how the UK’s biggest supermarkets fared over the Christmas trading period in a busy week of corporate announcements on London markets.
Traders will be looking for clues in the string of supermarket updates on whether the imposition of plan B measures and soaring Covid-19 cases prompted consumers to divert money that would have been spent on socialising toward luxury food over Christmas.
Sainsbury’s will update investors on Wednesday, while Tesco and Marks and Spencer report on Thursday.
Sophie Lund-Yates, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “Tesco has done very well in its efforts to stand up to Aldi and Lidl, with lowered prices, proposition improvements and a rapidly growing online business all playing their part.”
“But we wonder if Tesco’s market share has continued to grow as inflation spikes and customers’ income doesn’t stretch as far.”`
All eyes are on Friday’s gross domestic product print on the economics side. The Office for National Statistics’ latest estimate of economic growth will cover November, so it will not paint a full picture of the impact Omicron has had on output.
However, more timely indicators, such as IHS Markit’s purchasing managers’ index, suggest the economy contracted around 0.6 per cent in December, according to consultancy Pantheon Macroeconomics.
Across the pond, US inflation data on Wednesday could signal how high the cost of living could climb in Britain.