Money Minute 24 February: house prices, unemployment and corporate results

Money Minute: previewing the week's most important economic and financial goings on, including the latest house price, and unemployment figures, and a host of corporate results.

Good morning and welcome to Money Minute, your comprehensive preview of this week’s biggest financial stories.

It’s a relatively quiet week for UK economic data. Later in the week, we get the latest reading on UK house prices from Nationwide. The building society’s report for February is likely to confirm that prices are picking up after spending most of 2019 flatlining. Much of this has been driven by falling mortgage rates rather than the changing political situation. When home loans get cheaper, house prices tend to go up. That said, there have been signs of a post-election relief rally in the more timely indicators, such as Rightmove’s index of asking prices.

For the US, Thursday brings the weekly jobless claims figures, as well as durable goods orders. The latter is significant as it gives a good idea of how much businesses are investing in new equipment.

On Friday, there’s a glut of economic data from Japan, with updates on inflation, unemployment and retail sales, as well as manufacturing and construction activity. Japan’s economy is clearly very vulnerable to the knock-on impact of the coronavirus outbreak in China. Tourism is already being hit hard, while manufacturing activity has fallen sharply. That said, most of the data relates to figures for January, and so is unlikely to give a full view of the extent of the damage so far.

On the corporate front, it’s a hectic week with many FTSE 100 companies reporting their full-year results. Housebuilder Taylor Wimpey releases its full-year figures on Wednesday, while rival Persimmon releases its own figures on Thursday. Prospects have been looking up for house builders. Analysts at HSBC recently tipped the sector as one big winner from the increased political certainty following the election.

Other big names reporting include banking group Standard Chartered, multinational consumer goods giant Reckitt Benckiser, and advertising conglomerate WPP.

Recommended

The charts that matter: inflation, bubbles, and booze
Economy

The charts that matter: inflation, bubbles, and booze

As US stocks head higher into bubble territory, John Stepek looks at the charts that matter most to the global economy.
23 Jan 2021
23 January 1967: Milton Keynes founded
This day in history

23 January 1967: Milton Keynes founded

The most famous of Britain's garden cities, Milton Keynes in Buckinghamshire, was founded on this day in 1967.
23 Jan 2021
Quiz of the week 16-22 January
Economy

Quiz of the week 16-22 January

A Japanese car-maker announced plans to continue its UK operation, safeguarding 6,000 British jobs. But which one? And what else happened this week? T…
22 Jan 2021
22 January 1924: Ramsay MacDonald becomes prime minister
This day in history

22 January 1924: Ramsay MacDonald becomes prime minister

Ramsay MacDonald was one of the founder members of the Labour party, which he took to power on this day in 1924.
22 Jan 2021

Most Popular

Why we won’t see a house-price crash in 2021
House prices

Why we won’t see a house-price crash in 2021

Lockdown sent house prices berserk as cooped up home-workers fled for bigger properties in the country. And while they won’t rise quite as much this y…
18 Jan 2021
Inflation is the easiest way out of this – just don’t expect politicians to admit it
Inflation

Inflation is the easiest way out of this – just don’t expect politicians to admit it

The UK government borrowed £34.1bn in December, a record amount for that month. Britain's debt pile now amounts to 100% of GDP. How are we going to pa…
22 Jan 2021
When will the US stockmarket bubble burst?
US stockmarkets

When will the US stockmarket bubble burst?

With US stocks more expensive than before the Wall Street crash of 1929, there are growing signs of “mania”. But what will push markets over the edge?
22 Jan 2021