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Christmas is Coming – The Week Ahead

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The week starts in Spain with the publication of the labour costs for the third quarter and the Ministry of Economy, Commerce and Business publishes the trade balance for October.

We will also have the publication of the IFO survey in Germany. The slight recovery in business confidence recorded in November is expected to continue in December, driven by the stabilisation of inflation rates and the prospects for lower interest rates from the ECB. However, geopolitical uncertainty and the complex political context in Germany would limit a major rebound in the indicator.

Next, the final CPI for November for the Eurozone and the PPI for Germany will be published. At the same time, we will know the evolution of French retail sales and the current account balance of the Eurozone, which will predictably show the stabilisation of prices at levels close to the ECB’s objective and the deterioration of economic activity. The week will end with the final reading of Spain’s Q3 GDP and France’s PPI.

As we head towards the Christmas shutdown, other reports due out this week in Spain include provisional figures for tourist apartments, which incidentally are now confirmed banned in some areas, as well as hotel and tourism figures later in the week, and company innovation results for 2022, along with labour statistics for the less able-bodied, as well as birth and death rates updated for this year.

In the UK, Parliament will start their Christmas holidays on Tuesday, but Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will still have to face a pre-Christmas grilling with his final appearance of the year at the Liaison committee of senior MPs. Rwanda will no doubt be top of the list, especially following revelations of the actual cost of the scheme, and the less than publicised fact that the plan also includes receiving immigrants from Rwanda in exchange. The latest Home Secretary James Cleverly will also explain the situation in front of a Lords committee this week, which will hopefully be more coherent than his explanation to Ed Balls in a TV interview last week.

Sunak will then no doubt be preparing for his turn at giving the Prime Minister’s Christmas Message on Christmas Eve.

International Migrants Day on Monday will be marked by a demonstration, which obviously has nothing to do with the fact that Monday is also the day the Register of Political Donations is published, because, of course, nobody would want to create a distraction from that.

On the economic front, following on from some people being surprised that GDP figures showed an economic contraction in October, this week it is expected that more figures will show a further weakening of the UK economy. The 0.3% fall in GDP was in part attributed to the impact of still-high interest rates on household spending, and inflation data due on Wednesday this week will show just how far budgets have been squeezed in the lead up to Christmas.

We will also see public borrowing stats on Thursday, notable after last months near record-high figure, before the release of quarterly national accounts data on Friday, which will give a broader picture of the health of the economy over the last quarter.

As we are heading towards Christmas, we also get to find out who the BBC Sports Personality of the Year is on Tuesday, and talking of sport, there’s an historic event on Saturday with the Fulham v Burnley football match being the first-ever refereed by a female in a Premier League match. The Christmas number 1 is announced on Friday, the same day as the El Gordo lottery in Spain, and although Lad Baby are not in the running this year, The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl with Fairytale of New York have rocketed in the odds, following the death of lead singer Shane MacGowan, which will also then be somewhat polluted by the fact the song is now banned in the original form by some outlets due to the use of a word considered offensive.

All together now… “It was Christmas Eve babe. In the drunk tank”.

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