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Amid the economic gloom and ongoing conflict in Ukraine, there are signs of a return to normalcy.

The Golden Globes are back this week in their hometown of Los Angeles, after a boycott over a lack of diversity led to the event’s cancellation last year. Looking further ahead, world leaders, business leaders and economic thinkers will begin arriving in the Swiss resort of Davos this Sunday for the World Economic Forum on Sunday. next week.

The next seven days also see the official start of the fourth-quarter earnings season, which begins with Wall Street banks and British retailers. Of course, this will remind us that we are far from normal for the global economy — details below.

For the UK, normality at the moment means broad industrial action. Ambulance workers and driving instructors will resume walking this week, while strike votes close for teaching unions in England and Wales.

Normality was restored at least in the US Congress with the vote to appoint Kevin McCarthy as Speaker of the House. Attention may now focus on the economic challenges this year will bring — more on this week’s data announcements below.

A rocket carrying a payload of small satellites rests under the wing of 'Space Girl', a converted Boeing 747, at Cornwall Spaceport in Newquay

A rocket carrying a payload of small satellites rests under the wing of ‘Cosmic Girl’, a converted Boeing 747, at Cornwall Spaceport in Newquay © Tim Hepher/Reuters

Everything can be searched? Yes, if you are in Cornwall. Monday promises to be a historic day for the UK county – at least according to Virgin Orbit – with the launch of the first space satellite from the British mainland.

It’s probably better to describe it as a bit of a classic British eccentricity as nine satellites will be launched into orbit by a rocket launched from a repurposed Boeing 747, scheduled to take off. wing from Newquay airport on Monday night. It certainly shows a level of creativity and will at least lift British morale.


Who likes rising interest rates? Banks, who is that? This will be made clear this week when some of Wall Street’s biggest lenders report fourth-quarter numbers on Friday.

These companies made money from the Fed tightening by raising interest rates on loans rather than deposits. Analysts estimate JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup and Wells Fargo will report collective net interest income for the final three months of 2022 of nearly $60 billion, up 30% year-on-year, according to data consensus data compiled by Bloomberg. The worry is that this revenue booster cannot last and net profit margins have peaked.

Line chart of net interest income in billions of dollars showing a sharp increase in loan income for major US banks

The flip side of interest rate hikes is the issue of high inflation, which brings me to the other topic of this week’s corporate calendar, retailers. Increasing the payment price seems like a good thing for retailers. Not when inflation hits double digits, it doesn’t.

We’ll find out exactly how bad it got over the Christmas period — or, indeed, whether stocking up to see the World Cup pay off — through a series of deal updates from UK high street and online brands this week.

Of course, consumer spending could be better than expected, as Next showed last week. Gaming Workshop, which reports first-half numbers on Tuesday, is generating a lot of excitement (and not just among Dungeon and Dragons-obsessed teenagers) about the growth opportunities given the volume of games. Role-playing spikes during the pandemic. Investor (as well as teen) expectations have been further raised with the fantasy game maker’s recent Amazon movie and TV deal.

Economic data

A shopper carries a Zara bag on London's Regent Street

A shopper carries a Zara bag on Regent Street, London. The British Retail Consortium updates its monthly high street sales survey on Tuesday © Hollie Adams/Bloomberg

Expect another round of consumer price index and inflation data in the coming days from the United States, China, Japan, Australia, Brazil and Mexico.

The British Retail Consortium updated its monthly UK street sales survey on Tuesday, while on Friday the Office for National Statistics released its monthly gross domestic product estimate. The latest shows where the country stands in terms of recession.

Monetary policy comes out this week from the Bank of Korea, which is expected to raise its benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points to 3.50% on Friday.


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