Business Information Service: This Week

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Monday

The broad measure of the money supply - cash and bank accounts - is expected to be up by a full percentage point for October, after a rise of 0.2 per cent the previous month.

Tuesday

The Chancellor will deliver the Budget, which is widely expected to increase the 20 per cent tax band. Miras and pension contributions have also been mentioned as potential targets of Mr Clarke's knife. Eastern Electricity will kick off a round of reports from the power utilities, though changes to the method of contract payments mean its interims will bear no relationship to previous results.

Wednesday

Third-quarter figures for US GDP are expected to show a 2.8 per cent rise. Pressure on margins and rising store construction costs may herald a cutback in capital expenditure at Argyll, owner of Safeway, when it reports interim profits up some 8 per cent to pounds 216m. Meanwhile GEC's good order book and strong cash position should provide cheer despite sluggish profits growth.

Thursday

Figures for November's official reserves will be released. Grand Metropolitan is expected to turn in a dull performance, with a pounds 175m restructuring cost contributing to full-year profits of about pounds 740m, down 14 per cent from 1992. Hanson will also show a drop, as the long-running strike at its US coal pits eats into profits.

Friday

The figures for October's UK housing starts will be published. The depressed state of the labour market will be confirmed by a continuing unemployment rate of 6.8 per cent.

'I'm peering over Hadrian's Wall waiting for the opportunity to invade.' Gus MacDonald, chief executive of Scottish TV, on the Government's new ITV franchise rules

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