Business Information Service: This Week

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The Independent Online
MONDAY: No surprises in the final results from Bullough, the office furniture to wire products group, which had warned the market in December that its performance would be below market expectations.

The company's decision to charge redundancy costs of pounds 3.3m brought the profits forecasts tumbling down. Analysts who had been looking for a figure of up to pounds 15m trimmed that to about pounds 8.5m, against pounds 20.8m in 1991.

The final dividend, however, will be held at 4.3p, making an unchanged total for the year of 6.05p.

Data from both the US and UK NAPM Indices, which measure the activity in manufacturing order books, are released. In the UK, the figure is expected to rise to 49.6 per cent from 42.9 per cent in December.

In the US, where the index is watched more closely, the figure is expected to be 56.5 per cent in January, up from 55.4 per cent in December.

Robin Leigh-Pemberton and Helmut Schlesinger are to be the principal speakers at the annual dinner of the Overseas Bankers Club.

TUESDAY: UK Official Reserves are expected to have dropped back into the red to the tune of pounds 500m during January. The reserves were pounds 2.95bn down on the previous figure.

Data for German industrial production indicates a drop of 0.5 per cent, month on month, against the last figure of 1.1 per cent. Manufacturing output is expected to have gone down by 0.6 per cent.

US leading economic indicators for December will probably show only limited signs of improvement. The market average is for a rise of 0.9 per cent, up from 0.8 per cent in the previous month.

WEDNESDAY: Germany's December manufacturing orders are expected to show a fall of 0.8 per cent, against 0.7 per cent last time.

THURSDAY: The final quarter at WMI, the waste management firm, will have been influenced by the currency markets, although no unpleasant surprises are expected in the final figures.

The weakness of sterling boosts the consolidated returns from approximately half of WMI's business. Two fifths of turnover is derived from Italy, with Finland, Sweden and the UK contributing another 10 per cent. Central costs are sterling dominated.

A final quarter pre-tax profit of pounds 42.2m (up by 40 per cent) would give full-year profits of pounds 145m, up from pounds 76m last time.

FRIDAY: The unpredictable US employment numbers are typically among the most widely watched monthly figures. Non-farm payrolls could rise to 100,000 in December, against 64,000 the previous month.

West German employment is expected to fall by 13,000 in December from a flat figure in November, while job vacancies could drop by 11,000 in January after a 12,000 fall in December.

Economists expect Germany's current account deficit in December to be DM1bn, from DM700m. The December trade balance is expected to increase to DM2bn from DM1.7bn.

Results: NatWest Securities. Median economic forecasts: MMS International.

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