The City will be eyeing a raft of flagship economic announcements this week that will send ripples throughout London’s top indexes.
The capital’s premier FTSE 100 index registered a strong week last week, gaining 1.75 per cent.
The mid-cap domestically-focused FTSE 250 index, which is more aligned with the health of the UK economy, shrank 0.21 per cent.
Concerns about the negative impact of higher interest rates were stoked last week after the US Federal Reserve issued a hawkish set of minutes in which it hinted several 50 basis point hikes could come this year, weighing on global markets.
However, the FTSE 100 bucked that trend due to its over reliance on oil and gas companies, which are partially shielded from higher rates.
Fresh GDP data released tomorrow is expected to reveal the early signs of a projected slowdown in UK economic growth this year. Most experts think the economy grew 0.3 per cent in February.
Analysts at Pantheon Macroeconomics expect output to shrink in the second quarter of this year, driven by a spending slowdown amid a tightening cost of living squeeze.
Jobs figures released on Tuesday will likely compound fears over the health of the UK economy, triggered by the Office for National Statistics’ likely calculating wages are still failing to keep pace with inflation, meaning Brits’ living standards are falling.
But, the most closely watched figures this week are new inflation estimates for March, released on Wednesday.
Most economists think the rate of price rises climbed to 6.7 per cent last month.
The cost of living is already running at a 30-year high of 6.2 per cent, underlining the severity of the inflation crunch already hitting UK households.
On the corporate side, retailers lead the week’s billing, with JD Sports and Tesco updating markets with final results on Tuesday and Wednesday respectively.