Nato boss seeks to strengthen Asian alliances

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Hello and welcome to the working week.

Can we afford to be more optimistic about the future? The next seven days are beginning more positively for global geopolitics with a visit by Nato secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg to South Korea and Japan.

He will travel from Seoul to Tokyo on Monday to reinforce the transatlantic security alliance’s ties with its key partners in Asia. The meetings, which follow Japan and South Korea’s involvement for the first time in European Nato summits, demonstrate the alliance’s support for these countries in the face of security challenges posed by China and North Korea.

The war in Ukraine will be high on the agenda, with Tokyo and Seoul likely to confirm the release of additional non-lethal equipment for Kyiv.

On the flip side, this week will also provide reminders of the continued and very real challenge posed by populism and nationalists. India commemorates Martyrs’ Day on Monday on the 75th anniversary of the murder of Mahatma Gandhi. As writer Ramachandra Guha notes in his FT Weekend essay, veneration of the anti-colonial revolutionary has waned as Hindu nationalism has surged.

In the US, the figure of former president Donald Trump will loom large again as his adviser Peter Navarro is set to go on trial on Monday for his failure to comply with a subpoena from the House committee that investigated the January 6 2021 attack on the Capitol.

In the UK it is yet another week of strikes, beginning on Monday with driving instructors at the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency. The biggest day of action will come on Wednesday when schoolteachers, train drivers and university lecturers down tools while the TUC trades union body stages a Protect the Right to Strike Day in opposition to a contentious government bill to curb industrial action on essential services.

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Economic data

The rate-setting schedules have aligned again for the monetary policy committees of the Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank and the Bank of England.

The ECB is expected to stick with extra-large rate rises while the Fed downshifts, having signalled it would end its pace of 0.75 percentage point increases in December.

The Bank of England is expected to push through a 0.5 percentage point increase, owing to the stubborn persistence of high inflation, strong wage growth and the unexpected resilience of the UK economy.


We are in the thick of earnings season and this week is peak Big Tech with quarterly figures from Alphabet,, Apple, Meta and Spotify. It has been a sobering time for the sector, not least the admission that they massively over hired during the Zoom years of the pandemic.

Apple will be notable given that it is expected to break a 14-quarter growth streak in the lucrative December period owing to a shortage of high-end iPhones. A November outbreak of Covid-19 in the Zhengzhou factory (known locally as iPhone city) is to blame, creating a handset shortage of somewhere between 5mn and 10mn units.

At about $1,000 a pop, this works out at a $10bn hiccup, and is not good news for Apple given its handset war with Google. Revenue in this quarter in 2021 was a nudge under $124bn; forecasts are slightly lower for 2022 but the hit to net profit could be greater.

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.


  • China, stock markets reopen after being closed for the lunar new year holiday

  • Germany, monthly retail sales figures

  • Spain, flash January consumer price index (CPI) inflation rate data

  • Sweden, flash Q4 GDP figures

  • Results: NEC Q3, Philips Q4, Ryanair Q3


  • IMF publishes an update to its World Economic Outlook growth projections

  • Canada, November GDP figures

  • EU, flash Q4 GDP figures

  • France, flash Q4 GDP figures plus January Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices (HICP) inflation rate data

  • Germany, flash Q4 GDP figures plus January labour market statistics and January HICP inflation rate data

  • India, Economic Survey of how the economy fared in the last year and how it is projected to grow during the next fiscal year

  • Japan, December labour force survey (AM local time)

  • UK, Q3 estimate of government debt and the deficit, plus Q4 insolvency data

  • Results: AMD Q4, Canadian Pacific Railway Q4, Caterpillar Q4, Corning Q4, ExxonMobil Q4, Fujitsu Q3, General Motors Q4, McDonald’s Q4, Mondelez Q4, Origin Energy Q2 revenue and production report, Pets at Home Q3, Pfizer Q4, Samsung Electronics Q4, Snap Q4, Spotify Q4, UBS Q4, UniCredit Q4, UPS Q4, Whirlpool Q4


  • Brazil, monetary policy committee inflation rate decision

  • Canada, Brazil, China, eurozone, India, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, UK, US: S&P Global/SIPS manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) data

  • EU, December unemployment figures plus HICP inflation rate data

  • UK, Nationwide House Price Index

  • US, Federal Open Market Commission announces latest rate decision

  • Results: Entain Q4 trading update, Glencore FY production report, GSK Q4, Hitachi Q3, Meta Q4, Netgear Q4, Nomura Q3, Novartis Q4, Novo Nordisk Q4, Orsted Q4, Peloton Q2, SK Hynix Q4, Virgin Money Q1 trading update, Vodafone Q3 trading update


  • EU, European Central Bank monetary policy committee interest rate decision

  • Germany, trade balance data

  • South Korea, December CPI inflation rate data

  • Spain, monthly unemployment figures

  • UK, Bank of England monetary policy committee interest rate decision

  • US, Q4 unit labour costs and non-farm productivity data

  • Results: ABB Q4, Alphabet Q4, Q4, Anglo American Q4 production report, Apple Q1, Banco Santander Q4, Bristol Myers Squibb Q4, BT Group Q3 trading update, Canada Goose Q3, Chubb Q4, ConocoPhillips Q4, Danske Bank Q4, Dassault Systemes Q4, Deutsche Bank FY, Electrolux FY, Eli Lilly & Co Q4, Estee Lauder Q2, Fast Retailing January sales data, Ferrari Q4, Ford Motor Company Q4, Geox FY, Honeywell Q4, ING Q4, Japan Airlines Q3, Merck & Co Q4 MetLife Q4, NCC H1, OMV Q4, Publicis Groupe FY, Qualcomm Q1, Shell Q4, Sony Q3, Starbucks Q1, World Wrestling Entertainment Q4


  • Eurozone, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, UK, US: S&P Global/Cips services PMI data

  • EU, December producer price index (PPI) inflation rate data

  • Turkey, January CPI and PPI inflation rate data

  • US, quarterly employment figures

  • Results: Aon Q4, Cigna Q4, Mitsubishi Q3, Skanska FY

World events

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


  • India, Martyrs’ Day this year takes place on the 75th anniversary of the murder of Mahatma Gandhi

  • Japan, Nato secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg travels from South Korea, where he has been meeting foreign minister Park Jin and minister of national defence Lee Jong-Sup, to Tokyo to meet Japan’s prime minister Fumio Kishida and other senior officials in his government.

  • South Africa, trial set to resume of former president Jacob Zuma on corruption charges related to a 1990s arms deal

  • UK, workers at the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency, including driving examiners, staff in the call centre, driving instructor examiners and local driving test managers, stage latest industrial action over pay. Separately, a strike ballot issued by the Fire Brigades Union closes in its members’ pay dispute.

  • US, former president Donald Trump’s adviser Peter Navarro to go on trial for his failure to comply with a subpoena from the House committee that investigated the January 6 2021 attack on the Capitol


  • Democratic Republic of Congo, Pope Francis begins the first papal visit to Congo in 37 years, accompanied by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, and the moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Scotland, Iain Greenshields. The pontiff will meet the country’s authorities, victims of the conflict in the eastern part of the country and representatives of charities operating in the African nation. He will then visit South Sudan.

  • UK, Manchester mayor Andy Burnham speaks at the Cities Outlook report launch, an annual health-check of British cities by Centre for Cities


  • India, Narendra Modi’s government presents its last full budget before the country’s next general elections

  • UK, widespread strikes. More than 100,000 civil service members of the PCS union are to walk out for a day, the largest civil service strike for years and a significant escalation of industrial action over pay, pensions, redundancy terms and job security. Train drivers at operating companies will strike in a dispute over pay and working practices involving the RMT and Aslef unions. There will also be classroom disruption with the first of several national strikes by teachers across England and Wales, ongoing action by teachers in Scotland and over 70,000 staff at 150 universities will strike in a dispute over pay, pensions and working conditions. Also, the TUC is co-ordinating a Protect the right to strike day of action in opposition to the Westminster government’s plan to impose new minimum service levels on most of the public sector.


  • Russia, 80th anniversary of the Soviet government announcing the final defeat of the German 6th Army at Stalingrad

  • UK, secondary school performance tables published for England

  • US, Groundhog Day celebrated in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. According to legend, there will be six more weeks of winter weather if the groundhog sees his shadow and an early spring if he does not.


  • Ukraine, representatives from the EU and Ukraine hold a summit in Kyiv

  • UK, further industrial action on national railways as train drivers in the RMT and Aslef unions strike over pay and working practices. Also, four days of strike action among legal advisers and court associates that are members of the PCS union will begin in more than 80 courts across England and Wales.


  • UK, Six Nations Rugby tournament begins with matches between Wales and Ireland and England and Scotland

  • World Cancer Day, raising awareness and campaigning for government action


  • Cyprus, first round of presidential elections. A run-off will be held on February 12 if needed.

  • EU bans imports of all Russian seaborne refined oil and petroleum products from today, part of measures against Russia following its invasion of Ukraine

  • US, 65th Grammy Awards for the music industry to be held in Los Angeles

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