Thursday preview: March retail sales, Debenhams in the spotlight
With wage growth in Britain now finally outpacing price rises, on Thursday we'll learn whether Britons are splashing out on purchases or not.
According to the consensus, headline retail sales figures from ONS will reveal a 0.5% fall month-on-month for March, alongside an identical drop when automobile sales are excluded.
At the moment, some of the data points released ahead of the data were on the weak side of things.
One of those was the latest Barclaycard figures, which revealed that the March storms hit some of the more weather-sensitive retail segments last month, such as spending at do-it-yourself stores and garden centres.
Another weak data point came in the form of the March passenger car registration numbers from ACEA, published on Wednesday, which showed an out-sized 15.7% year-on-year drop in those for the UK.
Reacting to the data, analysts at Pantheon Macroeconomics described the figures as "grim", although here again weather was likely also a factor, as was the early Easter.
Stateside, both the latest weekly initial unemployment claims data and the Federal Reserve bank of Philadelphia's regional manufacturing gauge for April (both at 1330 BST) may move markets.
In the euro area meanwhile, this time around and given the current trade frictions globally, the latest reading on the Eurozone's current account surplus (for February) may not pass unnoticed.
On the corporate front, but also in the retail space, department store operator Debenhams will update markets on its performance for the six months ending in February.
Analysts expected the "tough" trends described by management in its January update to have continued over the company's second quarter.
While not wholly a surprise, they saw margin for the analyst consensus on Debenhams' fiscal year earnings to come down further.
"As we have said many times before, we cannot see past the severe structural pressures facing Debenhams (cost and share implications of online shift, low margins, long leases, high capex requirements, low returns, margin pressure from mix) and would continue to avoid."
Thursday April 19
INTERIM EX-DIVIDEND DATE
Barratt Developments, British Smaller Companies VCT, Northamber, SCS Group
QUARTERLY EX-DIVIDEND DATE
Ediston Property Investment Company, Honeycomb Investment Trust, Merchants Trust, TwentyFour Select Monthly Income Fund Limited
INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC ANNOUNCEMENTS
Continuing Claims (US) (13:30)
Initial Jobless Claims (US) (13:30)
Philadelphia Fed Index (US) (13:30)
Arabian Food Industries Company Domty S.A.E. GDR (Reg S), Candover Investments
Camellia, Hvivo, Xeros Technology Group
North Midland Construction
SPECIAL EX-DIVIDEND DATE
Bodycote, John Laing Group
Domino's Pizza Group, Essentra, Essentra, Herald Investment Trust, IDOX, MPAC Group, Relx plc, RM Secured Direct Lending, Sampo OYJ, Science Group , SEGRO, Stratex International
UK ECONOMIC ANNOUNCEMENTS
Current Account (EU) (09:00)
Retail Sales (09:30)
FINAL DIVIDEND PAYMENT DATE
Law Debenture Corp., Low & Bonar
FINAL EX-DIVIDEND DATE
AFH Financial Group , Aggreko, Amiad Water Systems Ltd, BAE Systems, Balfour Beatty, Bank of Ireland Group , BBGI SICAV S.A. (DI), Belvoir Lettings, Bodycote, Capital & Counties Properties , Capital & Regional, Communisis, Drax Group, Fevertree Drinks, Global Ports Holding, Greggs, Informa, Inmarsat, Intu Properties, John Laing Group , Kerry Group 'A' Shares, Lloyds Banking Group, M. P. Evans Group, Marble Point Loan Financing Limited NPV, McColl's Retail Group , Octopus AIM VCT 2, Pendragon, Polypipe Group , Property Franchise Group, Rathbone Brothers, RPS Group, Science Group , Standard Life Aberdeen, Taptica International (DI), Tyman, UBM, Vitec Group, Wood Group (John), Zotefoams