Business Information Service: This Week

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The Independent Online
Monday

A clutch of economic data will emerge this week, together with results from some of the biggest stocks in the market. The UK will see December consumer credit rise, with estimates ranging from pounds 250m to pounds 450m. In the US, President Clinton is scheduled to deliver his budget for the 1995 fiscal year. Dalgety, the snack-to-milling concern, should turn in a resilient set of interims, with pre-tax profits up 7 per cent. By contrast, pollution control company, WMI, is expected to produce a lacklustre 3 per cent rise in profits for the year.

Tuesday

The Bank of England will release its quarterly bulletin and inflation report. Reuters, the global media group, is forecast to power ahead with a 14 per cent rise in profits for the year.

Wednesday

Lloyds Abbey Life, the financial services-to-estate agency, is likely to turn in a solid interim performance, despite provisions for compensation in its pensions business.

Thursday

BP's finals should confirm the headway it has made in its recovery programme. The group is expected to deliver pounds 910m in replacement-cost profits, a massive turnaround from losses of pounds 352m last year. Falling prices will reduce BT's third-quarter profits by about 5 per cent, although call volume improvements should counteract the fall to some extent.

Friday

The UK's balance of visible trade for November is forecast to decline by pounds 1bn. A national holiday in Japan will see the markets closed, but the Clinton- Hosokawa summit will begin in the US. Lloyds is predicted to turn in a 28 per cent rise in profits for the year, though writebacks rather than its underlying performance will account for most of this.

By HELEN KAY

'The Post Office has a massive captive market. There is no way of dealing with this issue.' - Michael Heseltine

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