Week Ahead: Ballots will be distributed to Conservative Party members

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Hello and welcome to the working week. Today, I replace Jonathan Moules, gone on vacation.

This week, the Conservative leadership race caravan is moving from parliament to members across the country. Ballots are expected to land on the doormats of 150,000 Conservative Party members in the coming days, while runners-up Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak face off in another televised debate on Sky News on Thursday at 8pm.

But have the Conservative members already made up their minds? Polls showed Truss ahead of the former chancellor among the base. Stephen Bush, who runs the Inside Politics newsletter, warns that Sunak has little time to close the gap with Truss because “most conservative members will vote right away when their ballots arrive.”

Whoever wins the leadership race will inherit a wave of industrial discontent. Thousands of BT workers will walk out on Monday for the second of two strikes, led by the Communications Workers Union, in a pay dispute. In response to BT’s £1,500 pay deal offered to staff in April, the CWU said company bosses had “stuck two fingers” on workers. Dockworkers at the UK’s largest container port are also expected to strike in August.

Across the Atlantic, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán will speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Dallas, Texas, despite international backlash following a speech he gave on race that led to the resignation of one of his close collaborators, who called him “pure Nazi”.

Speaking of controversial international travel, Kathrin Hille reports that China is doing everything – possibly including the military – to dissuade US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi from traveling to Taiwan in the next days.

After the misfortune and the gloom, we can expect a weekend of rejoicing. Along with International Beer Day on Friday, the streets of Brighton will be awash in glitter as one of the UK’s biggest Pride events kicks off. The annual LGBTQ parade will see thousands of people flock to England’s south coast. And don’t miss the fire of love on the big screen, writes our film critic Danny Leigh.

Contact us – by email [email protected] or on Twitter @georgina.quach.

Economic data

The Bank of England will be in a tough spot on Thursday as its monetary policy committee assesses how far it needs to raise interest rates in a bid to bring inflation back to its 2% target. It is currently running at a 40-year high of 9.4% and is expected to climb higher. Governor Andrew Bailey said a half-percentage-point increase – which would be the biggest increase in 27 years – is on the table.

The BoE is under pressure to step up its efforts to control inflation after the US Federal Reserve raised its key rate by 0.75 percentage points for the second consecutive month on Wednesday. The White House will announce any good news about US jobs numbers this week to minimize recession fears. The economy contracted for a second straight quarter and “core” personal consumption expenditure (PCE) rose 0.6% in June.


August’s earnings lull is not quite upon us. After last week’s frenzy, things will only calm down slightly in the coming days, says FT business commentator Cat Rutter Pooley.

The narrative of consumer goods and beverage groups increasing their sales forecasts due to soaring inflation has been placed firmly in front Heineken results Monday and Kellogg’s Thursday.

Windfall profits made by oil and gas groups have also been at the center of the earnings season. After Shell racked up $11.5 billion in profits in a record quarter, that’s BP turn to enter the political storm on Tuesday. The UK has imposed additional taxes on energy companies this year, but another round of record profits could increase calls for additional levies.

And while major US banks gave their updates eons ago, reports from the European banking sector continue to circulate. HSBC will update whether lockdowns in China have continued to weigh on its Asian profitability, while Bank of Ireland and Commerzbank both report Wednesday.

Main economic and corporate reports

Here’s a more comprehensive list of what to expect in terms of corporate reports and economic data this week.


  • EU, monthly unemployment figures

  • Eurozone, France, Germany, Japan, UK, US: S&P Global Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) data

  • Germany, retail trade figures

  • United States, construction spending figures

  • Results: Bank of the Erste group HY, GlobalData HY, Heineken HY, HSBC HY, Pearson H1, pinterest Q2


  • Australia, Reserve Bank of Australia holds monthly rate-setting meeting

  • UK, monthly national house price index and quarterly insolvency figures

  • Results: Airbnb Q2, BP Q2, Direct Line Insurance Group HY, Fresnillo HY, Greggs HY, Jet Blue Airways Q2, group of men HY, Mitsubishi Q2, PayPal Q2, Prudential Financial Q2, Starbucks Q3, UberTechnologies Q2


  • EU, July retail sales figures

  • France, Germany, Italy, United Kingdom, United States: S&P Global services PMI data

  • India, Reserve Bank of India holds monthly rate-setting meeting

  • Italy, monthly retail sales figures

  • United States, monthly employment data

  • Results: AXA HY, Bank of Ireland HY, BMW HY, Commerzbank Q2, eBay Q2, Hugo Boss Q2, Infineon Technologies Q3, Just eat HY, Modern Q2, nintendo Q1, Nomura Holdings Q1, Taylor Wimpey HY, Telecom Italy Q2, Veolia HY, Yum Brands Q2


  • ECB, monthly economic bulletin

  • Investec holds an annual general meeting

  • You’re here holds an annual meeting of shareholders

  • UK, Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee Meeting on Rate Setting

  • United States, international trade in goods and services in June

  • Results: Ali Baba Q2, Bayer Q2, Conoco Phillips Q2, Eli Lilly and Co. Q2, Kellogg Q2, Lyft Q2, Next Q2 Trade Update, Japanese steel Q1, Novo Nordisk Q2, Primordial Q2, Pirelli Q2, Rolls Royce HY, Serco Group HY, SoftBank Group Q1, Toyota Q1


  • Canada, July unemployment figures

  • United Kingdom, monthly house price index in Halifax

  • U.S. July Unemployment and Consumer Credit Numbers from the U.S. Federal Reserve

  • Results: Capita Group HY, Deutsche Postbank Q2, Suzuki Motor Corp. Q1

Global Events

Finally, here’s a look at some of the other events and milestones from this week.


  • China, anniversary of the founding of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army

  • Cook Islands, legislative elections

  • Germany, a country which is committed to stop buying Russian coal from now on

  • Hungary, the country will stop exporting fossil fuels to neighboring countries from today

  • Jamaica, Emancipation Day celebrates the day African slaves from British colonies were freed from slavery

  • Switzerland, national day holiday

  • UK, St Andrew’s Day in Scotland. Members of the BT and Openreach unions went on strike for 24 hours over a pay dispute. The first strike took place on Friday.




  • China, the Qixi festival celebrates the annual meeting of the cowherd and the weaver in Chinese mythology

  • In the United States, the four-day Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) begins in Texas


  • Japan, anime fans gather for the three-day World Cosplay Summit

  • Russia and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to meet Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in Sochi

  • In the UK, around 150,000 members of the Conservative Party are due to receive their ballot papers by today to start voting for a new leader, and therefore the new UK Prime Minister. Brighton and Hove Pride festival weekend begins


  • Bolivia, Independence Day

  • Jamaica, Independence Day

  • Japan, 77th Annual Memorial Event for Hiroshima Atomic Bomb Victims


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