The week ahead: UK and US GDP, M&S results, banking statistics

calendarThis week will see some key events including second estimates of UK and US GDP data, Royal Dutch Shell’s AGM, and a new raft of financial results.

Fund Strategy looks at some key events shaping the week and what to expect.

Monday 23 May

  • European flash consumer confidence indicator
  • Ryanair Holdings results
  • Iraq Petroleum Conference

Tuesday 24 May

  • Royal Dutch Shell AGM

Investment charity ShareAction has analysed the firm’s recent climate risk reporting finding that Shell’s current business model is not yet aligned with what is required to achieve the goal of limiting temperature rises to “well below” 2 degrees, with an ambition for 1.5 degrees, set at COP21.

ShareAction chief executive Catherine Howarth says: “To retain the confidence of shareholders, and to serve the best interests of the millions of people exposed to Shell shares in their pension funds, Shell must take far stronger action to transition its business model for a low carbon world. We urge pension funds and their fund managers to engage with the company to make the necessary adaptations as a matter of urgency.”

Wednesday 25 May

  • Marks & Spencer results

Hargreaves Lansdown Laith Khalaf says: “It is the first year at M&S with the new chief executive, Stephen Joseph Rowe, so we’ll have an update on the new strategy of the company to improve business. The food business is growing but it will be interesting to see how the general merchandise will do as it has been struggling.”

Thursday 26 May

  • UK Q1 GDP (second estimate)

While Khalaf says we might not see any surprise in the updated figures, he says there might be an upward trend in the new estimates.

IHS Global Insight chief UK and European economist Howard Archer also expects the figures to be confirmed at 0.4 per cent quarter-on-quarter in the first quarter of 2016.

Archer says: “We suspect GDP growth could well be limited to 0.2 per cent quarter-on-quarter in the second quarter, amid heightened uncertainty in the run-up to the referendum on EU membership.

“Admittedly, the possibility that growth could prove to be more resilient has been lifted by decent retail sales growth in April and an improved CBI industrial trends survey for May.”

  • BBA release – high street banking, April 2016

The British Bankers’ Association will report on trends in deposits and finance for UK households and businesses.

“The statistics could tell us how the Isa season was in the past month,” says Khalaf. “The Investment Association said it wasn’t a great year for stocks and shares Isas, so the BBA might reveal cash Isas did better. If not in cash Isa, the people might have put more money into pensions or buy-to-let.”

  • ONS: Business investment in the UK, quarterly statistics

Friday 27 May

  • US GDP figures, Q1 (second estimate)
  • Purdah period begins for the EU referendum

Communications by UK and devolved governments and local authorities are restricted ahead of the EU referendum.