The holiday season is coming early with days off for many

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

Hello and welcome to the working week.

Or maybe not. It is often said that Christmas comes earlier every year. Well, this week many of us will have an anticipated holiday season, as an increase in birthdays means an increase in public rest days across the world.

If you’re reading this in the United States, you’re already deep into the Memorial Day long weekend with tomorrow’s commemoration of those who gave their lives in military service.

In other years, the last Monday in May would also be a UK holiday, linked to the Christian holiday of Pentecost, or Pentecost as the Church of England calls it. But this year the day off was moved to Thursday and Britons were given an extra bank holiday on Friday to commemorate Queen Elizabeth’s 70 years as head of the UK state – possibly by going to the cinema .

On Thursday, Italians will commemorate the founding of their modern state with fireworks and parades on National Republic Day. Then there is the Dragon Boat Festival, the traditional Chinese festival that takes place on the fifth day of the fifth month in the Chinese calendar – this year it will be this Friday.

Whatever you think of the significance of these holidays, they have added poignancy this year given the debate over working hours. The greater flexibility needed to get things done during the pandemic shutdowns has led many to question the rigidity of working nine to five, five days a week, about whether we should better mix our family and work life or move to four days a week – as the technology company WANdisco has already done.

Could this shortened week be a taste of things to come? I am interested in your opinions. Email me at [email protected]

Economic data

It’s been a fairly comprehensive week for economic data with inflation and unemployment data for Eurozone countries on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively, as well as the Federal Reserve’s Beige Book of US economic conditions on Wednesday and US unemployment data on Friday.

Companies

It’s been a lean week for earnings calls. Again, the theme is retail.

So-called dollar stores in the United States have tended to trade resiliently during economic downturns and that will likely be the message from the variety discounter B&M this week.

Analysts expect sales and profits for the year to the end of March to be below last year’s record highs as shopping habits normalize and costs rise. But, as my colleague Jonathan Eley notes, the company’s size and direct sourcing operations in Asia will help it keep prices lower than more conventional rivals as revenues come under pressure.

This will likely be the last set of annual results for chief executive Simon Arora, who along with his brother Bobby grew B&M from a small run-down chain of stores in the North West of England to an estate of nearly 700 stores in the UK and a place in the FTSE 100. He surprised the market in April by announcing his intention to retire.

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.

Monday

  • EU consumer and business opinion surveys

  • Germany, preliminary consumer price index (CPI) data for May

  • Italy, April Producer Price Index (PPI) data

  • Spain, inflation figures for May

  • UK official youth unemployment data by socio-economic background 2014-21 plus analysis of cheapest groceries

Tuesday

  • Canada, March GDP data

  • EU, Eurozone inflation flash figures for May

  • France, May CPI flash figures plus April final PPI data and first quarter GDP figures

  • Germany, May unemployment data

  • India, Q1 GDP figures

  • Italy, preliminary CPI data for May, unemployment figures for March and final GDP data for the first quarter

  • Japan, April unemployment rate, retail spending figures and industrial production flash data

  • Russia and central bank issue financial stability review

  • Switzerland, Q1 GDP figures

  • UK, British Retail Consortium monthly economic briefing and official quarterly measures of economic activity for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland and the nine English regions

  • United States, monthly consumer confidence figures

  • Results: B&M AF, HP Q2, Pennon Group AF

Wednesday

  • Alphabet AGM

  • Canada, Bank of Canada interest rate announcement

  • China, Eurozone, France, Germany, Italy, UK, US: S&P/Caixan Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) data

  • EU, April unemployment figures

  • Germany, retail trade figures for April

  • UK, Nationwide Building Society May House Price Index

  • The United States and the Federal Reserve publish a Beige Book of economic conditions

  • Results: Dr Martens AF

Thursday

  • EU, April PPI figures

  • United States, April factory orders data

  • Results: hormel food Q2, Lululemon Athletica Q1

Friday

  • EU, April retail trade data

  • France, industrial production index figures for April

  • Germany, April trade balance data

  • Euro zone, France, Germany, Japan, United States: S&P Global services PMI data

  • UK, Bank of England Deadline for UK Banks to Submit Crypto Plans

  • United States, unemployment figures in May

Global Events

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

Monday

Tuesday

  • EU, the mandate of the President of the European Council Charles Michel comes to an end

  • World Trade Organization dispute settlement body holds monthly meeting

  • United Kingdom, deadline for the Minister of the Interior, Priti Patel, to decide on the extradition to the United States of the founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange.

Wednesday

  • The first day of meteorological summer in the northern hemisphere

  • Albania assumes rotating presidency of UN Security Council

  • China and Shanghai enter the next phase of its deconfinement program

  • Denmark holds referendum on joining EU defense pact, increasing military spending and weaning off Russian gas

  • European Central Bank Chief Economist Philip Lane speaks at the CEPR Paris Symposium hosted by Sciences Po in Paris

  • South Korea, local elections

  • UK and Scotland take on Ukraine in FIFA World Cup play-off football match postponed due to Russia’s invasion of neighbor

  • The United States scraps Trump-era tariffs of 25% on British steel and aluminum exports, replacing them with quotas. In return, the UK will suspend additional taxes it had imposed on US products, such as bourbon and Levi’s jeans.

Thursday

  • Italy, Festa della Repubblica commemorating the referendum to define the form of government of the country after the second world war.

  • United Kingdom, the Trooping of the Color military parade to celebrate the Queen’s official 96th birthday

Friday

  • China, Hong Kong, Taiwan: annual dragon boat racing festivals

  • UK, the 73rd Aldeburgh Classical Music and Opera Festival, considered part of ‘the season’ of social events, begins and St Paul’s Cathedral in London hosts a service of thanksgiving for the queen’s platinum jubilee

Saturday

  • The Jewish holiday of Shavuot, or Feast of Weeks, begins tonight

  • China, 33rd anniversary of the events in Tiananmen Square in Beijing

  • France, women’s final of the French Tennis Open

  • Iran, national holiday commemorating the death anniversary of former Iranian leader Ayatollah Khomeini

  • Ukraine, today marks 100 days since the start of the Russian invasion

Sunday

  • Pentecost celebrated by Western churches, commemorating the descent of the Holy Spirit on the disciples of Jesus after his ascension. Whit Sunday in the UK.

  • France, men’s final of the French Tennis Open

  • In the UK, the Epsom Derby, the flagship event of British flat racing, will take place at the eponymous racecourse in Surrey, as well as the culmination of four days of Jubilee celebrations including local street parties , a star-studded show along London’s Mall and the Platinum Party at the Palace, a concert outside the Queen’s official residence

Trade secrets — Essential reading on the evolution of international trade and globalization. register here

The road to healing — The impact of Covid on the global economy, markets and businesses. register here