Business Information Service: This Week

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The Independent Online
MONDAY: With a year to the Channel tunnel opening deadline, Eurotunnel is expected to reveal how far it has progressed in the dispute over costs with TML, and project costs estimates against total funds available to it.

Within the latest initiatives to rebuild political bridges in Europe following the recent row over the exchange rate crisis, EC foreign ministers are due to meet in Luxembourg.

German manufacturing orders for August on Monday or Tuesday are expected to show a 0.5 per cent decline.

UK credit business for August is expected to have remained relatively flat, following the pounds 78m rise for July.

TUESDAY: The interim announcement from London & Manchester is likely to give some guidance on the size of property loan provisions for this year. Non-insurance results for the half-year to June are expected to be poor.

Full-year results from Raine Industries are likely to have suffered from weak consumer spending on its interiors business. Pre-tax profits are expected to fall by a third to pounds 13.5m (pounds 20.3m).

The US Federal Reserve's policy-making arm, the FOMC, is due to meet in Washington amid speculation that the employment report for September, which was released on 2 October, will provoke a further easing in monetary policy.

The UK Conservative Party conference starts in Brighton.

Seasonally adjusted figures for September are forecast to show a rise in unemployment in western Germany of about 20,000, following a 17,000 increase in August. However, a non-adjusted fall of about 19,000 in unemployment is expected in the east.

WEDNESDAY: Half-year pre-tax profits from Grampian Holdings are expected to show a decline from pounds 4.1m to pounds 3.5m for the period to June.

Austin Reed, the clothes maker and retailer, is forecast to break even in the six months to July. Turnover is expected to fall 20 per cent to pounds 31.9m.

Between this day and next Monday, German trade and current account figures will be released. The trade balance is expected to record another small surplus of around DM1bn compared with DM1.3bn in July. The current account deficit is expected to narrow from DM7.7bn to DM5bn.

US consumer credit figures for August are forecast to remain weak, with a fall of dollars 1bn expected, against a dollars 1.1bn fall in July.

THURSDAY: Pre-tax profits from Bowthorpe Holdings, the electric and electronic components group, are expected to have held up at pounds 21.5m (pounds 21.3m) in the half-year to June.

Galliford, the construction company, is predicted to show a 45 per cent decline in pre-tax profits to pounds 3.5m (pounds 5.4m) in the year to June.

Instock Johnson is forecast to make pounds 3m (pounds 7.2m) pre-tax profit in the half- year to June, plagued by excess capacity and insufficient demand.

The German parliament in Bonn is scheduled to begin debate on the Maastricht treaty.

FRIDAY: The UK retail price index for September is expected to show a monthly rise of 0.3 per cent, which would allow the year-on-year inflation rate to edge down from 3.6 per cent in August to 3.5 per cent. The rate excluding mortgage payments is expected to fall from 4.1 per cent to 4 per cent. Some rebound in clothing and footwear prices, together with rises in certain leisure services, such as football admission prices and evening classes, are seen as the main factors behind the expected monthly rise.

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