Afghanistan has two anniversaries coming up. Friday is Independence Day, commemorating the signing of the Treaty of Rawalpindi in 1919, in which Britain gave Afghanistan self-determination over its foreign affairs. However, most will be more concerned about Monday, which will be a year since the Taliban regained control.
This week also kicks off the 75th anniversary of the British withdrawal from the Indian subcontinent, marking the division of India and Pakistan. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the nation from the historic Red Fort in Delhi, likely focusing on the problems in Kashmir, the country’s only Muslim-majority state.
For UK students, it’s all about the present as students in England, Wales and Northern Ireland receive the emails and envelopes on Thursday with their A-level and vocational exam results. The task of accepting and finding university places through the clearing process will then begin in earnest.
As with the Advanced Higher exam scores announced for Scottish students last week, A-level results are expected to be lower than last year, but likely higher than in pre-pandemic years. The examination body AQA has said papers will be more generously reviewed to reflect the return to normal testing conditions.
Britain’s summer of discontent this week will be marked by another national rail strike, exacerbated by a general strike in London’s public transport network. This Sunday, more than 1,900 workers at Britain’s largest container port, Felixstowe, will go on strike, plus another week of the criminal lawyers’ strike at courts in England and Wales, with no resolution in sight.
We are about to take a major step forward in NASA’s Artemis space program. The mission aims to land the first woman and ethnic minority astronaut on the moon, prepare for a prolonged lunar presence and be a stepping stone to send humans to Mars. NASA plans to livestream the transfer of the Artemis 1 rocket to the launch pad on Wednesday with the goal of completing the launch by the end of the month.
Inflation monitors will be kept busy this week with updates from the EU, Japan and Canada, and on Wednesday the release of the latest Federal Open Market Committee meeting minutes may give some indication of the Fed’s willingness to tighten monetary policy.
It will also be a busy week for UK economic news with data on employment, inflation, productivity, retail sales, consumer confidence and house prices. All are likely to get comments on the state of UK plc.
This week we are reaching the end of the current reporting season with results from a number of retailers that are either purely online or have benefited greatly from e-commerce, most notably walmart on Tuesday, Target and Tencent a day later, and AO World on Thursday.
AO World is trying to shift its business model from revenue growth to building and maintaining margins. The problem for such retailers as we enter an economic slowdown is maintaining adequate sales demand.
Read the full week ahead calendar here.