Afghanistan has two birthdays coming up. Friday is Independence Day, which commemorates the signing of the Treaty of Rawalpindi in 1919, in which Britain granted Afghanistan self-determination over its foreign affairs. However, most will be more concerned about Monday, which marks one year since the Taliban regained control.
This week also begins with the 75th anniversary of Britain’s withdrawal from the Indian subcontinent, marking the partition of India and Pakistan. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the nation from Delhi’s historic Red Fort, likely to focus on the problems of Kashmir, the country’s only Muslim-majority state.
For British schoolchildren, it’s all about the present, as students in England, Wales and Northern Ireland receive emails and envelopes containing their A-level and vocational exam results on Thursday. The task of accepting and finding university places through the clearing process will begin in earnest.
As with the higher advanced exam scores announced for Scottish students last week, A-level results are expected to be lower than last year, but likely to be higher than in the pre-pandemic years. Exam body AQA has said papers will be graded more generously to reflect the return to normal test conditions.
Britain’s summer of discontent will be marked by another national rail strike this week, made worse by a general walkout on London’s public transport networks. Next Sunday, more than 1,900 workers at Britain’s largest container port, Felixstowe, are set to go on strike, plus we have another week of strike action by criminal lawyers in courts across England and Wales, with no solution in sight.
We’re about to take a major step, even a giant leap, in NASA’s Artemis space program. The mission aims to put the first female and ethnic minority astronaut on the Moon, preparing for a long-term lunar presence and providing a stepping stone to sending humans to Mars. NASA plans to live stream the transfer of the Artemis 1 rocket to the launch pad on Wednesday with the goal of completing liftoff by the end of the month.
Inflation watchers will be kept busy this week with updates from the EU, Japan and Canada, and Wednesday’s release of the latest minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee meeting may give an indication of the willingness of the Fed 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 feedback on the state of UK plc.
This week we come to the end of the current reporting season with results from a group of retailers that are purely online or have benefited greatly from e-commerce, particularly Walmart on Tuesday, Goal i Tencent a day later, and AO World Thursday.
AO World is trying to change its business model from growing sales to creating and maintaining margins. The problem for these retailers as we enter an economic downturn will be maintaining sufficient sales demand.
Read the full week’s schedule here.