Biden hosts Jordan’s King Abdullah and UK holds by-elections


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Hello and welcome to the working week.

The attempt to find a solution to the Israel-Gaza conflict comes to Washington on Monday with President Joe Biden playing host to King Abdullah of Jordan. The meeting has been billed as an effort to find “an enduring end” to the crisis in Gaza, including “a two-state solution with Israel’s security guaranteed”, according to a White House statement.

UK politics offers us a couple of set piece events with by-elections in the (currently) Conservative seats of Wellingborough and Kingswood. How confident are the ruling party about retaining their presence here? Well, not even Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has endorsed the Wellingborough candidate, as Financial Times columnist Henry Mance notes in his characteristically droll look at the polls.

We have a run of major statistics over the next seven days. From the US, we’ll get consumer price index and producer price index inflation rate updates, retail sales and industrial production figures. Japan and the EU present their first estimates of GDP movement for the fourth quarter. The UK will also have a Q4 GDP estimate, CPI inflation figures and retail sales numbers, plus employment and wages data, while Germany has the latest Zew report.

There will again be plenty more central bank speakers — a good excuse to once again plug my colleague Chris Giles’s excellent Central Banks newsletter (for Premium subscribers) — and the earnings-season party rolls on with a smorgasbord of British utilities companies, European banks and US consumer goods manufacturers. More detail on all of this below.

One more thing . . . 

If the political and economic news is getting you down, there is at least ample chance to celebrate this week. With Lent beginning on Wednesday, you can justify a pre-fast burst of fun, whether you celebrate it as Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday or Pancake Day. For the romantics, February 14 is Valentine’s Day, or you can just continue the Lunar New Year celebrations that began this weekend.

Personally, all this will probably have to be celebrated from home as the Moules clan has recently expanded to include a Labrador puppy — thank goodness for movie streaming and online food delivery services — though we can at least justify a trip to our beloved urban allotment.

What are your priorities for the week ahead? How does it compare with the list below? Share your thoughts and suggestions by emailing me at [email protected] or, if you are reading this from your inbox, hit reply.

Key economic and company reports

Here is a more complete list of what to expect in terms of company reports and economic data this week.


  • Bank of England governor Andrew Bailey gives a lecture to students at Loughborough University, during an agency visit to the East Midlands

  • India: January consumer price index (CPI) inflation rate data

  • UK: Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development Labour Market Outlook

  • Results: 2U Q4, ANZ Group Q1, Arista Networks Q4, Federal Realty Investment Trust Q4, Michelin FY, Q4, Trimble Q4


  • Opec: February Oil Market Report

  • EU: Ecofin meetings

  • France: Q4 unemployment rate figures

  • Germany: February Zew Economic Sentiment Survey

  • UK: February labour market data

  • US: January CPI inflation rate data

  • Results: American International Group (AIG) Q4, Airbnb Q4, Akamai Technologies Q4, Asahi Group Holdings FY, AutoNation Q4, Avis Budget Group Q4, Coca-Cola Q4, Denny’s Q4, Hasbro Q4, Krispy Kreme Q4, Lyft Q4, Marriott International Q4, MGM Resorts International Q4, Moody’s Q4, Principal Financial Group Q4, Randstad Q4, Shopify Q4, Tui Q1 & AGM, Ultimate Products trading update


  • EU: preliminary Q4 GDP and employment change estimate

  • UK: January CPI and producer price index (PPI) inflation rate data. Also, December House Price Index

  • Results: ABN AMRO Q4, Albemarle Q4, Capgemini FY, Cisco Systems Q2, CNH Industrial Q4, Delivery Hero Q4 trading update, Dunelm HY, Heineken FY, Kirin Holdings Q4, Kraft Heinz Q4, Norsk Hydro Q4, OCI Q4, Rakuten Group Q4, Rexel FY, Severn Trent Q3 trading update, Sony Q3, Thyssenkrupp Q1, United Utilities Q3 trading update, Wabtec Q4


  • International Energy Agency Oil Market Report

  • EU: European Commission Winter Interim Economic Forecast

  • Japan: preliminary Q4 GDP estimate (AM local time)

  • UK: preliminary Q4 labour productivity and GDP estimates

  • US: NAHB Housing Market Index and monthly retail sales figures

  • Results: Airbus FY, Applied Materials Q1, Centrica FY, Commerzbank Q4, Consolidated Edison FY, Deere & Co Q1, DoorDash Q4, Dropbox Q4, Dun & Bradstreet Q4, Euronext FY, MJ Gleeson HY, Hyatt Hotels Q4, Kerry Group FY, Orange FY, Pernod Ricard HY, Reliance Steel & Aluminum Q4, Renault FY, Roku Q4, Stellantis FY, TripAdvisor Q4, Unipol Gruppo FY, Wendy’s Q4, Yelp Q4


  • Bank of England chief economist Huw Pill speaks at the NABE Economic Policy Conference in Washington

  • France: final January CPI and harmonised index of consumer prices (HICP) inflation rate data

  • UK: January retail sales figures, plus personal and corporate insolvency data.

  • US: January PPI inflation rate data plus the University of Michigan consumer sentiment survey

  • Results: Air Canada Q4, Bridgestone FY, Eni FY, Ingersoll Rand Q4, NatWest FY, PPL Q4, Segro FY, Swiss Re FY

World events

Finally, here is a rundown of other events and milestones this week.


  • 100th anniversary of British Egyptologist Howard Carter lifting the lid off the Tutankhamun sarcophagus in Egypt to discover the golden statue of the king and the mummy

  • Netherlands: Dutch appeals court to rule in case of human rights groups who seek to block the government from exporting F-35 fighter jet parts to Israel, which they claim enables war crimes in the besieged Gaza Strip

  • UAE: World Government Summit opens in Dubai

  • US: President Joe Biden hosts Jordan’s King Abdullah at the White House

  • US: trial begins of former Honduran president Juan Orlando Hernández on drugs and weapons charges in a Manhattan federal court



  • Ash Wednesday, the start of Lent

  • France: Verdict due in the appeal trial of former president Nicolas Sarkozy in a case regarding the funding of his 2012 election campaign

  • US: IM-1 mission due to launch from Cape Canaveral on board a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, carrying the IM-1 lunar lander designed by Intuitive Machines to the lunar surface


  • Belgium: Nato Allied Defence Ministers meeting in Brussels, chaired by the alliance’s secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg

  • UK: Wellingborough and Kingswood by-elections

  • US: a hearing to decide on a possible date change for the criminal trial of former president Donald Trump on charges of falsifying business records as part of an alleged scheme to silence claims of extramarital sexual encounters during his 2016 presidential campaign. The trial had been set for March 25


  • UK: Welsh Labour leadership contest begins. Separately, Scottish Labour begins its annual conference in Glasgow. Both are significant since Labour, Britain’s main opposition party, hopes to retake a large number of parliamentary seats in Scotland and retain its majority in Wales at the upcoming general election

  • UK: London Fashion Week begins, Europe’s largest selling exhibition for ready-to-wear designer fashion for Autumn/Winter 2024



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This post was originally published on Financial Times

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