Finance

Countdown to Thanksgiving, Black Friday frenzy and sober reflections


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Hello and welcome to the working week.

The main diary item for Americans will be the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday — for those flying to see family, the FT has an airport restaurant guide. This coming Sunday will also feature the start of celebrations for Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights, and the Christian season of Advent, both of which have themes of gratitude.

Thanksgiving is followed by the consumer frenzy that is Black Friday, now an international event, providing an indication of the health of the retail sector. Here, too, the economic and corporate news gives us much to be thankful for, from early Christmas shopping trips and rising consumer confidence in the UK to Airbnb reporting an increase in bookings. With consumer confidence data due for EU nations this week, we will see whether the joy can be found across Europe.

Londoners that find themselves out late will be welcoming the return on Saturday of parts of the Night Tube — suspended at the start of the UK’s first pandemic lockdown. London relies on good public transport, as the mayor Sadiq Khan noted in this FT op-ed. Revellers will no doubt be pleased about the Night Tube’s return, but so will those who just need to get between places at night and find the service a safer alternative to walking the streets or hailing a cab in the small hours.

Giving thanks will also be the theme for a more sombre occasion. In the UK, mourners will reflect on the significant contribution of public service made by David Amess, the Southend West MP who was killed at a constituency surgery meeting last month. A civic service will be held at Westminster Cathedral on Tuesday.

I am very thankful for your comments — emailed to jonathan.moules@ft.com — so please keep them coming.

Economic data

It might be the start of the holidays, but we are at the tail-end of the earnings season. That means that this week’s statistical and events calendar is a little thin.

Highlights are likely to be the flash purchasing managers’ index surveys that will enable comparisons in the relative health of G7 nations and a run of surveys in Europe and the UK. In the US, there will be data for residential property sales and a revised Q3 GDP figure.

Companies

As has been noted, the next few weeks should be a blessing for online retailers such as AO World, which reports interim results on Tuesday. However, the UK-based household appliances specialist has already warned that sales have been hit by driver shortages and supply chain disruption brought on by the pandemic, as well as competition from larger rivals, such as Amazon.

We all want to move beyond the pandemic, even Zoom. The video conferencing platform, which reports quarterly numbers on Monday, needs to broaden its scope given that employees are returning to the workplace and less reliant on screen-based meetings. The collapse of Zoom’s bid to buy cloud computing business Five9 might have been a blessing, according to the FT’s Lex column, but the company will need to reassure investors about the viability of alternative plans on its earnings call this week.

Key economic and company reports

Here is a more complete list of what to expect in terms of company reports and economic data this week.

Monday

  • China, policy rate decision

  • EU, flash consumer confidence figures

  • Thailand, Q3 employment data and household debt figures

  • UK, CBI monthly industrial trends survey

  • Results: Intuit Q1, Zoom Q3

Tuesday

  • Canada, speech by deputy governor of the Bank of Canada, Paul Beaudry, to the Ontario Securities Commission on risks to Canada’s financial system

  • CRH Q3 trading update

  • Eurozone, France, Germany, UK, US: IHS Markit flash composite purchasing managers’ index data

  • Germany, Q3 GDP figures

  • Nigeria, monetary policy committee sets interest rates

  • UK, HMRC publishes monthly property transactions data

  • Results: AO World H1, Best Buy Q3, Compass Group FY, Dell Technologies Q3, HP FY, Medtronic Q2, Severn Trent H1

Wednesday

  • New Zealand, Reserve Bank of New Zealand gives monetary policy statement

  • Sweden, Riksbank holds its monetary policy meeting

  • US, Federal Open Market Committee meeting minutes, Q3 GDP estimate plus consumer spending and residential sales figures

  • Results: Deere & Company FY, Johnson Matthey Q2, Lukoil Q3, United Utilities H1, Virgin Money FY

Thursday

  • EU, European Central Bank governing council meeting minutes

  • Germany, consumer confidence and Q3 GDP figures

  • Mexico, GDP figures

  • UK, energy trends and prices data, estimates of young people who are not in education, employment or training, plus BoE capital issuance statistics

  • Results: Rémy Cointreau H1

Friday

  • France, consumer confidence figures

  • China, monthly property data for Hong Kong

  • Switzerland, Q3 GDP figures

  • UK, Office for National Statistics excess winter mortality data for England and Wales plus Nationwide house price index

  • UK, Bank of England chief economist Huw Pill gives a speech on the economic outlook, hosted by the CBI North East

World events

Finally, here is a rundown of other events and milestones this week.

Monday

  • Switzerland, general council of the World Trade Organization meets in Geneva

  • UK, CBI annual conference, which is this year being held online, begins

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

  • Cuba, Fifth anniversary of Fidel Castro’s death

  • UK, NHS vacancy statistics for England plus Home Office immigration statistics

  • US, Thanksgiving holiday

Friday

Saturday

  • Thailand celebrates its annual monkey festival

  • UK, London’s Night Tube will be returning in time for the busy Christmas period

Sunday

  • Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights, begins

  • Honduras holds a general election

  • UK, first Sunday in Advent

  • US, Hollywood Christmas Parade held in Los Angeles

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