A new chapter for space travel and an anniversary for NATO

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Hello and welcome to the working week,

As TS Eliot wrote in his poem “The Waste Land”, “April is the cruellest month”. I say this not only because this week marks the start of the UK fiscal year, but also because the centenary of what was one of the most important poems of the 20th century is celebrated in the financial center of London from this Thursday with a festival in 22 churches in the city. .

It’s hard to be optimistic about world events right now. What will happen in Ukraine? It is impossible to predict. But there will be many other meetings, first between the foreign ministers of the member countries of NATO, which coincidentally celebrates its 73rd anniversary on Monday. There will also be a meeting of EU finance ministers for the Ecofin conference, whose agenda includes an attempt to assess the economic impact of the conflict.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is continuing his (virtual) tour of Western parliaments to rally support – this week addressing the elected chambers of Dublin and Athens. Another fortuitous anniversary: ​​this Thursday is the seventh anniversary of the declaration of the Donetsk People’s Republic as a breakaway region from Ukraine.

Are there reasons to be happy? Well, there will be firsts for space travel this week. On Monday, Nasa will hold a press conference to discuss the final stages of testing – called a “wetsuit rehearsal” – for its Artemis 1 rocket. The Artemis program aims to return astronauts to the Moon and establish a long-term lunar colony. term as a precursor to human exploration of Mars.

Then on Wednesday, Axiom (or Ax-1), the first fully private astronaut rocket mission to the International Space Station, is to launch from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

This weekend, democracy in Western Europe will be in the spotlight with the first round of voting in the French presidential election on Sunday.

It wasn’t too long ago that it could be said that none of the 11 challengers looked close to unseating incumbent President Emmanuel Macron, but he now warns he could lose the election to the far right. The fear is that Macron’s overwhelming success in the polls will foster voter apathy and a latent disillusionment with centrist politicians, as this excellent Big Read explains.

You can get the latest updates on French polls by clicking here. You can also vote on The Week Ahead by emailing me at [email protected] – I remain open to suggestions on what to include and omit. Thank you for your feedback.

Economic data

Central bankers’ thoughts on the inflation conundrum will become a little clearer this week with the release of the minutes of the Federal Reserve’s latest meeting.

IHS/Markit will provide international comparisons on productivity, services and manufacturing with the release of its Purchasing Managers Index data for Europe, Asia and the United States.


We are between earnings seasons, so the main events on the corporate agenda this week are the annual general meetings, including nokia — which recently reinstated its dividend — on Tuesday, UBS on Wednesday and Rio Tinto Friday.

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.


  • Canada, the Bank of Canada releases its Business Outlook Survey

  • EU, industrial producer prices

  • Germany, trade balance figures for February

  • UK, Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey speaks at the Stop Scams conference, and Deputy Governor Jon Cunliffe gives a talk at the European Economics & Financial Center

  • United States, February factory orders data


  • Australia, Reserve Bank of Australia monthly monetary policy meeting

  • Euro zone, France, Germany, Italy, United Kingdom, United States: IHS/Markit services and composite data (industry and services) of the purchasing managers’ index (PMI)

  • nokia AGM

  • South Korea, inflation figures for March


  • Asia, China, EU, France, Germany, World, UK: IHS/Markit PMI figures for productivity, services and construction

  • EU, European Central Bank (ECB) releases quarterly financial statements

  • Germany, February factory orders and consumer goods statistics

  • Russia, consumer price index (CPI) figures

  • Sweden, February gross domestic product data

  • TeliaSonera AGM


  • United Kingdom, British Retail Consortium NielsenIQ March Shop Price Index

  • U.S. and Federal Open Market Committee Release March Meeting Minutes


  • EU and ECB monetary policy accounts plus February eurozone retail sales data

  • Germany, February industrial production figures

  • UK, Office for National Statistics quarterly productivity figures, plus Halifax house price index for March. Bank of England Chief Economist Huw Pill delivers the keynote address at the bank’s 8th International Conference on Sovereign Bond Markets


  • Canada, March unemployment data

  • CMC Markets annual update before closing

  • France, industrial production figures

  • Italy, February retail sales data

  • Japan, trade balance figures for February

  • Norway, February GDP data

  • Rio Tinto AGM


Global Events

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


  • 73rd anniversary of the founding of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), created with the signing of the North Atlantic Treaty in Washington

  • In the US, NASA is hosting a media conference call to discuss the latest major test of its Mega Moon Artemis 1 rocket and spacecraft


  • Meeting of the Council of EU Economy and Finance Ministers and Ecofin in Luxembourg. The agenda includes the adoption of a general approach on an overall minimum level of taxation of at least 15% for large multinational companies, as well as a discussion on the economic and financial aspects of the war in Ukraine .

  • Japan, the ban on exporting high-end cars and other luxury goods to Russia comes into force


  • Belgium and NATO Foreign Ministers will meet in Brussels for a meeting of the North Atlantic Council, chaired by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

    They will be joined on Thursday by the foreign ministers of Australia, Finland, Georgia, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, Sweden and Ukraine, as well as the high representative of the EU for foreign affairs.

  • Ireland and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will deliver a virtual speech during a joint sitting of both Houses of Parliament in Dublin

  • UK, start of fiscal year 2022/23. The threshold at which people start paying income tax was set by Chancellor Rishi Sunak at £12,570 and £50,270 in April 2021, and will be frozen for five years.

  • UK Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020 comes into force allowing married couples to divorce without blame

  • In the United States, Axiom (or Ax-1), the first fully private astronaut mission to the International Space Station, is to be launched from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida


  • World Health Day when the World Health Organization releases its annual World Health Report

  • Ukraine, seventh anniversary of the declaration of the Donetsk People’s Republic.

  • Greece, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky gives an online address to parliament in Athens

  • UK, England and Wales County Championship cricket season begins

  • US Masters golf tournament begins at Augusta National Golf Club, Georgia


  • UK, poll closes among members of the Union of Universities and Colleges (UCU) on pension, pay and conditions settlement to avoid further strikes during end-of-year exam season


  • Georgia, National Unity Day commemorating the tragedy in Tbilisi in 1989, when attempts by the Soviet army to disperse protesters left at least 20 dead

  • UK 174th Grand National takes place at Aintree Racecourse, Liverpool


  • France, first round of the country’s presidential election

  • Israel, Palm Sunday is marked at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem

  • South Caucasus, presidential election in South Ossetia

Finally, this week sees the launch of Working It, a new newsletter from Editor-in-Chief Isabel Berwick on the big ideas shaping today’s workplaces, from the future of hybrid working to the effects of the Great Shakeup. Register here.

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