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Week Ahead: Tesco a festive winner as UK economy stumbles

Our preview of the main financial events of the coming week.

Week Ahead: Tesco a festive winner as UK economy stumbles

Beyond Britain’s shores, things are looking better.

US politicians may have skirted their way around the edge of the fiscal cliff rather than falling off the edge – reaching a deal to avert sweeping tax rises, but delaying a decision on spending cuts – but that’s still one less global economic concern.

In China, the most important of the emerging markets, the economy appears to have turned. The days of 10% annual growth, though, are gone.

And the continued existence of the 17-member eurozone is no longer being threatened on a daily basis, though concerns over the currency bloc’s fate and weak demand for British exports will remain an impediment to growth.

Triple-dip watch

In the UK, though, we remain on ‘triple-dip’ watch. In the coming week some strong economic reports will be needed to prove the UK remains on course for growth after a feeble report on the dominant services sector hit economists’ desks with a thud on Friday.

A string of data due over the coming week on major companies and the wider economy will reveal whether the nation’s finances improved in the last part of the year.

Listed supermarkets Tesco (TSCO.L), Sainsbury (SBRY.L) and Morrisons (MRW.L) will reveal their Christmas trading to investors. Analysts expect Tesco to be the ‘winner’, thanks partly to a flattering comparison with weak previous trading from the supermarket, which has been struggling to hold onto market share.

‘Although we continue to expect volatility, we believe Tesco’s trading update will offer further evidence of the growing traction of the initiatives in its grocery offer,’ wrote Nick Coulter of Nomura in a note.

While agreeing on Tesco’s outperformance, Investec’s Dave McCarthy warned that overall ‘Christmas started slowly and never got going. Stores were quiet and consumers were cautious.’

On the high street, so far Next (NXT.L) and John Lewis have reported strong sales, while Debenhams (DEB.L) and Marks & Spencer (MKS.L) report numbers next week.

A broader gauge of Christmas spending will come from the British Retail Consortium, which publishes its December sales monitor on Monday night. Howard Archer, an economist at IHS Global Insight, suggested that while there could have been a last-minute rush for Christmas presents, festive sales are unlikely to have been better than ‘adequate’.

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23 comments so far. Why not have your say?


Jan 05, 2013 at 15:45

These pop-ups are great! They save time.

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Jan 06, 2013 at 10:02


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Alan Anderson

Jan 06, 2013 at 10:38

I could handle the pop-ups if they shot in from the right-hand side instead of blocking what I'm reading - or if they had Helen Mirren sitting on top of them.

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Mark Mathieson

Jan 06, 2013 at 11:32

Pop-ups are ALWAYS unwanted crxp - if I can't find a way to block them. I'll unsubscibe from this email.

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Alan Anderson

Jan 06, 2013 at 12:00

Yes, you are right Mark. Maybe Christine Lagarde, that well-known Synchronous Swimmer/Chief of the IMF would be a better pin-up for the pop-ups on a financial website.

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Jan 06, 2013 at 21:49

If the pop ups don't stop I will unsubsribe from citywire. They don't tell me anything I can't get elsewhere.

I'll give them until the end of Jan.

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Philip Parkin

Jan 07, 2013 at 09:49

What Pop ups, they don`t bother my Apple Mac.

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an elder one

Jan 07, 2013 at 14:53

Alan Anderson; absolutely!! but the pop-ups do seem superfluous; vested interest somewhere no doubt!

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Jan 07, 2013 at 15:43

Tesco might have done well, but Tesco Direct is a complete shambles! In November their computer system could not process vouchers and after ordering goods through their Call Centre they charged my card without taking the vouchers off. I'm still trying to get a refund on the vouchers even though I've spoken to them three times and each time they say it's being processed....this is blatently untrue. So, as far as I'm concerned, Tesco does everything but 'Help'

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Jan 07, 2013 at 16:20

I agree, pop ups are very irritating. Pop ups over what you are reading...this is like people talking across you. There must be better ways of offering a professional service.

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mark jukes

Jan 07, 2013 at 16:33

There is bags of space available on the right of the web page - the pop ups over there would be much less irritating

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Suze Jamieson

Jan 07, 2013 at 16:46

I'm with Alan - if we have to have them, put them on the right hand side where I can ignore them please.

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David West

Jan 07, 2013 at 18:00

In light of various comments from people who do not like the pop ups, it would be polite for Citywire to at least comment.

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an elder one

Jan 07, 2013 at 18:19

Advertising is'nt meant to be polite or discrete its object is to get you're attention whether you like it, or not; in yer face, as it were.

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Suze Jamieson

Jan 07, 2013 at 20:11

@ David West - as a professional financial services marketer, I find it appalling that no-one at Citywire has noticed/is bothered by all these comments. If I were the marketing executive responsible for this website, I would be very embarrassed that these comments were attracting increasing attention and invective. If I were in charge of the department responsible, I would be having very sharp words with the body who let this go on for so long without any comment whatsoever. Hello Citywire?? Anyone out there???

@an elder one - advertising's objective may be to get yourt attention, but it really does have to be polite and considerate these days - otherwise the advertiser will end up with bad publicity on twitter or facebook - someone no-one wants. Anyone else off to Twitter then?

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an elder one

Jan 07, 2013 at 20:42

Suze Jamieson; one reads, that there is no such thing as bad publicity.

Personally I have no time for the scourges of Twitter and its vulgarities; or for Facebook for that matter.

It's my understanding that the role of Citywire is as an organ or impartial channel only, for the expression of others notions and ideas including vested interests in all their complexions, short of the totally unacceptable; in which, as they say, one man's (or woman's) meat is another's poison.

Just a personal observation!

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Suze Jamieson

Jan 07, 2013 at 21:32

Elder one: Citywire is a business, not a charity and any organisation that doesn't respond to the needs of its customers or respect their wishes (even on a supposedly not-for-marketing-purposes site) will lose them. And there certainly is such a thing as bad publicity these days, as the likes of Bob Diamond will tell you.

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an elder one

Jan 07, 2013 at 22:28

Suze Jamieson; "Citywire is a business" so are newspapers one may take them or leave them and their contents, but the inquisitiveness of the human specie ensures their persistent custom; and incidentally charities are not above such risk, the RSPCA has attracted some flak recently for instance.

As regards Bob Diamond I've no comment, but I suspect it's not all bad for the chap; and what about that fellow who once ran RBS - forgotten his name! - he left, worth a bob or two. The entrepreneur will take such risk on the way to riches; sometimes it works, sometimes it don't, you don't know till you try and learn; it is often said the rule book is for the guidance of fools. You may be right and Citywire will collapse as a result of adversity, but don't hold your breath!

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Chris Marshall (Citywire)

Jan 08, 2013 at 10:30

Hi all

My apologies for not responding sooner, but we have taken notice of your comments and are acting on them.

We’ll be moving the pop-ups over to the right hand side of the screen where they won’t get in the way of articles/comments.

We don't currently plan to scrap the pop-ups as the numbers of people who are clicking on the article links (and therefore presumably find them useful) are far greater than those complaining.

Chris, Citywire

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Suze Jamieson

Jan 08, 2013 at 11:24

At last - thank you!

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Alan Anderson

Jan 08, 2013 at 11:48

Chris, it's good to see the art of caving-in is still alive and well. Thanks. So, no chance of Helen Mirren then?

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an elder one

Jan 08, 2013 at 13:34


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Mark Mathieson

Jan 09, 2013 at 18:42

@Chris Marshall (Citywire)

I suppose the RHS position would be better, but that is not the point. My beef is that the pop-ups are intrusive and very DISTRACTING, wherever they appear. I like Citywire, but not enough to ignore them and stay with the site if they continue..

Also, your argument for keeping them is highly dubious - "More people click than complain"!?! I suggest you do a simple survey to your users:

Do you want pop-ups? YES / NO. (Simple, really)

Regards, Mark

BTW, does anyone know of a popup blocker that actually works on these, on Firefox?

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