Business Information Service: This Week

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MONDAY: Preliminary German cost-of-living figures for July should be released today or Tuesday. Following better-than-expected figures for individual states last week, the market anticipates an unchanged nationwide figure, implying a sharp fall in the year-on-year rise to 3.3 per cent from 4.3 per cent in June. The unwinding of the impact of last year's mineral oil tax is largely responsible for the sharp fall in the year-on-year rate, while weak oil and food prices are responsible for weak July figures.

TUESDAY: Annual results from Hadleigh Industries are likely to reflect a difficult year at C&Z, Truckline and Lynton. It is expected to make pre-tax losses of pounds 400,000 (profit pounds 1.8m) for the year to March.

Following the recent spate of gloomy UK economic news, the Confederation of British Industry publishes its quarterly trends survey, reporting on activity in the past three months and giving pointers to how industrialists view the coming quarter. With no other UK economic news this week, the CBI survey is likely to attract even more attention than usual.

In the US, the July consumer confidence index is likely to show a decline to around 70 per cent compared with 71.1 per cent in June.

WEDNESDAY: Half-year pre-tax profits at BAT Industries are forecast to rise by 50 per cent to pounds 620m for the period to June, due to the non-recurrence of provisions for mortgage indemnity business at Eagle Star.

First-quarter results from BT are expected to have suffered from the loss on the sale of Mitel and the first pounds 100m of costs related to the redundancy programme. Pre-tax profits of pounds 515m (pounds 825m) are forecast.

Net profits from Lasmo are expected to rise from pounds 2m to pounds 10m for the six months to June. Write-downs of between pounds 150m and pounds 200m are expected in respect of the IPO sale.

Lloyds Abbey Life profits are forecast to edge ahead 4 per cent to pounds 155m, helped by a 37 per cent rise from Black Horse Financial Services in the six months to June.

THURSDAY: Half-year results from Harrisons and Crosfield are expected to increase 10 per cent to pounds 40m for the period to June.

ICI is forecast to show an 11 per cent decline in pre-tax profits to pounds 450m for the six months to June.

The first estimate of US second-quarter GDP growth is expected to show that growth slipped to an annual rate of 1.8 per cent compared with 2.7 per cent in the first quarter. The GDP deflator is expected to show inflation remaining around 3 per cent.

Also in the US, the Federal Reserve vice-chairman is scheduled to address the Swaps Dealers Association, while the chairman, Alan Greenspan, is due to testify to the House Banking Committee on commercial real estate lending.

FRIDAY: Half-year results from Lloyds Bank are forecast to be little changed. Pre-tax profits are expected to show a 2 per cent rise to pounds 326m for the period to June.

Lex Service, which operates motor dealerships and car hire, is expected to produce a significant increase in pre-tax profits from pounds 4.2m to pounds 12m for the six months to June.

The only significant economic data is in the US, with June personal income thought to be unchanged after rising 0.3 per cent in May. Personal consumption expenditure is expected to rise 0.4 per cent after a 0.5 per cent rise in May. June factory goods orders are forecast to rise by 0.8 per cent, recovering the 0.8 per cent loss in May.

Company results: County NatWest Woodmac. Median economic forecasts: MMS International.

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