Business Information Service: This Week

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UK October producer prices for fuel and raw materials should show a 0.2 per cent increase. Factory gate prices are expected to remain flat, keeping the underlying rate for the year at 3 per cent. Chris Patten, the Governor of Hong Kong, will be in London for talks on the fate of the colony. Associated British Foods is expected to show a small lift in profits.


A two-day conference on the future of privatisation in Europe will take place in Paris. In Germany, September retail sales are likely to reveal a 1.5 per cent fall year on year, confirming the absence of any economic pick-up. Anglian Water is expected to announce its new chairman.


UK global trade figures are expected to reflect a continuing, stable underlying trend. Interim results at Unigate and Amersham International should deliver some evidence of an upswing.


Armistice Day will see President Yeltsin meet Jacques Delors of the EU and representatives from Belgium, which currently holds the EU's presidency, to discuss how the union can help economic and political reforms in Russia. Royal Insurance is expected to turn in a command performance with third-quarter results showing a pounds 115m profit for the nine months to September, compared with losses of pounds 83m for the same period last year.


UK September manufacturing output and industrial production should support the evidence of upturn. October's US retail sales are expected to rise steeply on the back of improved figures in the automobile industry. Food giant Unilever is predicted to turn in third-quarter profits of pounds 618m, up 6 per cent on last year.

Helen Kay

'Value and quality have never been as important as they are now.' Sir Richard Greenbury, chairman of Marks & Spencer