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A Week for Lovers and Bookworms… And lunatics!

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This week is a significant one for celebrations in both England and Spain, although the Spanish version is somewhat more romantic, and it is also a week to be wary of lunatics (original meaning) and werewolves!

We also have lots of business and financial reports this week, and statisticians are going to be busy working out what the countless reports of the week mean to us mere mortals.

Let us look at The Week Ahead in Spain, the UK, Europe and beyond…

Monday 22 April 2024

The week will begin with the publication of the preliminary reading in April of consumer confidence in the Eurozone, after registering an improvement in economic sentiment levels in March (-14.9 points vs. -15.5 points in February).

For computer users, Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V, or copy, paste, because it’s almost the same thing on a weekly basis but the Rwanda bill will return to the House of Commons for a fourth round of ping-pong on Monday after peers once again thwarted the bill last week.

Perhaps a more emotive story in the news on Monday in the UK will be the return of the UK’s worst child serial killer in history, Lucy Letby, as her case is heard at the Court of Appeal. Despite being found guilty of murdering seven babies in 2015 and 2016, she maintains her innocence.

Globally, assuming we are not all obliterated by World War III between the time of writing and your time of reading, Monday sees the European Union foreign ministers gather in Luxembourg to discuss the situation in the Middle East.

Returning to the UK, Rightmove House Price Index and CBI Industrial Trends survey will dominate the numbers news.

Back in Spain, Monday is a local holiday in Alcoy, and a few other places.

Tuesday 23 April 2024

On Tuesday the 23rd, the preliminary reading for April of the Eurozone PMIs will be published, after confirming the data from the previous month the divergent evolution of activity between the main Member States.

In the USA, we will know the first April reading of the composite PMI, which in March was in expansion territory (52.1 points).

UK Public sector finances will be under the spotlight.

Today is also World Book Day, and World Copyright Day, and celebrates the birthdays of both Shakespear and Cervantes. It is a significant day for celebration in parts of Spain, and, in a manor not unlike Valentine’s Day, in Catalonia, for example, the gifts of books and roses are traditional today.

Many other places celebrate the works of Cervantes and so hold their own local celebrations, perhaps none more so as in Castille y La Mancha in recognition of the Don Quixote.

There are numerous local holidays celebrated around Spain today.

Of course, the primary focus of The Week Ahead is Spain, with a sprinkling of Europe and the world, and the UK, so we must not forget to recognise that today is St George’s Day, also an important day for England, as well as Spain, and therefore a unifying factor for both countries.

Wednesday 24 April 2024

On Wednesday, we will know the Ifo survey in April in Germany, whose data will reflect the business confidence of the leading European power, in a context in which activity seems to show the first signs of recovery.

Over the pond, like every week, the mortgage application index will be published in the USA, at the same time that the preliminary reading of durable goods orders for March will also be released.

In the UK, no doubt the needs of the people will be swept aside in favour of more political bickering as Angela Rayner attends Deputy PMQ’s.

We could get an insight in how nosey people are being, or how much more transparency they are demanding, as the Annual stats on Freedom of Information Act requests are published. We will also have the quarterly housebuilding data for the UK.

Again, assuming we all survive beyond Monday and into the middle of the week, the UN Security Council is due to be briefed the UN’s coordinator for humanitarian aid to Gaza today.

Back in Spain, we will see IVA figures published, and information about beer sales and consumption, not that the two are necessarily related.

WARNING (if you know, you know) – Full Moon at 01:49 in Spain!

Thursday 25 April 2024

On Thursday the 25th, the industrial price index for March in Spain will be published, after observing last February a moderation in the pace of price decline to 8.2% in year-on-year terms.

In the US, the preliminary GDP reading for Q1 2024 will be published, along with personal consumption data for the first 3 months of this year.

It is a big day for statisticians in the UK on Thursday as we have the OECD Taxing Wages report, quarterly crime statistics (England and Wales) (which will no doubt be blamed on Sadiq Khan, irrespective of where the hotspots are), plus what actually happens to those arrested with the safety in custody and offender management statistics, we will also have energy trends and prices, and in the wake of Rishi Sunak wanting to clampdown on sickness by stopping paying the sick rather than fixing the problems as to why more people are ill and cannot get treatment, we will have the latest figures on sickness absence in the UK labour market.

Friday 26 April 2024

The week will end with the publication of the unemployment rate in Spain, which stood at 11.76% of the active population in Q4 2023.

At the same time, we will also know the March retail sales of the Spanish economy, key to determining the momentum of private consumption after growing at a year-on-year rate of 1.9% in February.

Friday is a big day for France as we will have the Paris 2024 Olympic flame handover ceremony, and Emmanuel Macron attends a citizens’ meeting on end-of-life care.

To end the week in the USA with the final confidence data from the University of Michigan for the month of April, providing information on the evolution of consumer confidence in the US, in a context of uncertainty about the Fed’s future steps in the face of the rebound in activity and the persistence of inflationary tensions.

In the UK we will have reports from the Bank of England capital issuance, and GfK UK Consumer Confidence Barometer.

Business Updates

At the business level, the payment of dividends from Naturhouse and the General Shareholders’ Meeting of Acerinox, Endesa, Vocento, Atresmedia, among others, will take place. For their part, the results of Grupo Catalana Occidente, Repsol, Banco Sabadell and Iberdrola, among other references, along with results from companies such as Meta (Facebook), Alphabet (Google), Tesla, Visa, Verizon, Union Pacific, Boeing and Microsoft, among others.

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