UK Autumn Statement, Black Friday heralds holiday retail binge

Stay informed with free updates

This article is an on-site version of our The Week Ahead newsletter. Sign up here to get the newsletter sent straight to your inbox every Sunday

Hello and welcome to the working week.

We will see a change in the seasons over the next seven days as Thanksgiving in the US says goodbye to the autumn and gives way to Black Friday, the retail frenzy that begins the run-up to the holidays.

The headline event in the UK calendar is the Autumn Statement, delivered by Chancellor Jeremy Hunt to MPs in Westminster. This set piece in British parliamentary theatrics is expected to herald inheritance and business tax cuts with the promise that these, and other measures such as expanding the role of the pensions lifeboat fund, will reignite growth for the flagging economy. Of course Hunt would also like to revive his Conservative party’s polling numbers ahead of the next important season for them, the run-up to the general election, which must be held by January 2025. Find out more on Wednesday’s speech by clicking here.

Americans, who are also facing a stream of electioneering events ahead of the 2024 presidential contest, this week move into the pre-Christmas holiday season. After Thanksgiving on Thursday, shoppers will head out on Black Friday, when retailers traditionally generate the lion’s share of the year’s sales. One of the highlights of my five years as an ex-pat living in Manhattan’s Upper West Side was watching the Macy’s Parade giant balloons being inflated on Central Park West. I do not miss the retail madness that followed, but President Joe Biden will no doubt be hoping for a feel-good burst of consumer spending to help raise his polling numbers.

Earnings season is coming to an end with a trickle of announcements. Tuesday will be busiest with results from Nvidia, Best Buy and AO World, a clutch of other tech firms and retailers.

There is a decent run of economic news and data, notably G7 purchasing managers’ index data, inflation updates from Japan and Canada plus China’s monthly loan prime rate fixing announcement — though no change in that figure is expected.

There will also be monetary policy meeting minutes from the European Central Bank and the US Federal Reserve, as well as plenty more central bank speakers. If you are taking a break this week, happy Thanksgiving.

One more thing . . . 

Wednesday brings a triple 60th anniversary: the assassination of 35th US president John F Kennedy, the death of Oxford professor and Christian author CS Lewis, and the first broadcast of the BBC science fiction series Doctor Who.

The latter is still going strong and the anniversary edition will be being watched this week by at least one of the Moules children — perhaps even their father. I’d encourage you to step back in time 10 years and read Henry Mance’s eulogy to Who-ology, which is as true today about this remarkable brand as it was back then.

What are your priorities for the week ahead? Email me at 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 delivers the annual National Farmers Union Henry Plumb Memorial Lecture in London

  • Bank of Spain governor Pablo Hernández de Cos speaks at the Financial Markets Association’s Annual Financial Convention in Madrid

  • China: Bank of China loan prime rate announcement

  • Germany: October producer price index (PPI) inflation rate data

  • UK: CBI annual conference in London, titled General Election Countdown

  • Results: Agilent Technologies Q4, Compass FY, Diploma FY, Zoom Q3


  • Canada: October consumer price index (CPI) inflation rate data. Also, finance minister Chrystia Freeland presents the Fall Economic Statement

  • UK: October public sector finances figures

  • US: Federal Open Market Committee releases minutes from its October meeting

  • Results: Abercrombie & Fitch Q3, Analog Devices Q4, AO World HY, Autodesk Q3, Baidu Q3, Best Buy Q3, Cranswick HY, CRH trading update, HP Q4, Lowe’s Companies Q3, Medtronic Q2, Nordstrom Q3, Nvidia Q3


  • EU: European Central Bank publishes its financial stability review

  • UK: Autumn Statement speech delivered by Chancellor Jeremy Hunt to MPs in the House of Commons

  • US: University of Michigan November Index of Consumer Sentiment

  • Results: Breedon trading statement, Britvic FY, Deere Q4, Johnson Matthey HY, Kingfisher Q3 trading update, Rotork Q3 trading update, Sage FY, Severn Trent HY, Thyssenkrupp FY


  • EU: ECB publishes minutes of last monetary policy meeting

  • Turkey: interest rate decision

  • Canada, France, Germany, Italy, UK: S&P Global/Cips November purchasing managers’ index (PMI) data for manufacturing and services

  • US: Thanksgiving Day. Public holiday, markets closed

  • Results: FirstGroup HY, Jet2 HY, Mitie HY, Virgin Money UK FY


  • Music and entertainment retailer HMV reopens at 363 Oxford Street, where the first store opened in 1921

  • Germany: final Q3 GDP figures

  • Japan: October CPI inflation rate data. Also, S&P Global November PMI data for manufacturing and services

  • UK: GfK Consumer Confidence Survey

  • US: S&P Global November PMI data for manufacturing and services. Also, financial markets close early on the day after Thanksgiving

World events

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


  • Belgium: European Economic Area council meeting to discuss the overall functioning of the EEA Agreement and hold an orientation debate on economic security, chaired by Liechtenstein foreign minister Dominique Hasler

  • UK: Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol begins a four-day state visit to Britain



  • Netherlands: general election

  • UK: Prime Minister Rishi Sunak scheduled to meet South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol

  • US: 60th anniversary of the assassination of President John F Kennedy in Dallas, the same day that Oxford academic and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe author CS Lewis died, and the first episode of science fiction series Doctor Who was broadcast on BBC TV


  • Canada: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hosts a two-day summit with EU leaders in Newfoundland, including European Council president Charles Michel and his European Commission counterpart Ursula von der Leyen

  • UK: Ofgem announces an update to the energy price cap for the first three months of 2024 to reflect the estimated costs of supplying electricity and gas



  • UK: MrQ UK Championship snooker tournament, the first triple crown event of the sport’s season, begins in York


Recommended newsletters for you

One Must-Read — The one piece of journalism you should read today. Sign up here

Working It — Discover the big ideas shaping today’s workplaces with a weekly newsletter from work & careers editor Isabel Berwick. Sign up here

Leave a Comment