Good morning, and welcome to our rolling coverage of the world economy, the financial markets, the eurozone and business.
Britain’s economy ended 2018 with a whimper, with the economy shrinking by 0.4% in December alone. Today we discover whether growth recovered in January, when the latest monthly GDP figures are released at 9.30am.
Economists predict that GDP rose by 0.2% in January, led by a return to growth in the services sector. This would lift the annual pace of growth to 1.2%, up from 1.0% – still a weak result.
But nothing’s guaranteed, of course — we may discover that growth was weaker, given just how stressful January was for UK businesses. Bosses may have been reluctant to invest, after watching the government suffer a record loss over its Brexit plan.
Britain may also have suffered the impact of the slowdown in the eurozone, where Italy is in recession and Germany’s growth has stalled. Not to mention the US-China trade war….
Also coming up today
Financial results from takeaway firm Domino’s Pizza, fashion chain French Connection and car retailer Pendragon will also show how the UK economy is faring.
Investors around the globe will be watching Westminster today, as Theresa May brings her Brexit deal back to the House of Commons.
Last night, the PM announced she’d secured an ‘improved deal’, only for opposition MPs to point out that the Withdrawal Agreement hadn’t changed at all.
To win tonight, May must persuade scores of her own MPs to drop their opposition to the Deal, and also reassure her allies in the DUP. Quite an ask….
We also get February’s US inflation figures, likely to show the cost of living rising by 1.6% per year, as in January.
European stock markets are expected to rise this morning, after a good day on Wall Street.
- 9.30am GMT: UK GDP report for January
- 9.30am GMT: UK trade balance for January
- 12.30pm GMY: US inflation for February