Macron tour, Draghi speech, WPP results
The FT's Vanessa Kortekaas highlights the key stories to watch in the coming week, including French president Emmanuel Macron marking 100 days in office and touring Europe, ECB president Mario Draghi speaking at the Jackson Hole Economic Symposium and results from advertiser WPP.
Produced by Vanessa Kortekaas. Filmed by Rod Fitzgerald and Petros Gioumpasis. Still images by Getty and Reuters.
Hello and welcome to the Week Ahead from the Financial Times in London. Here are some of the big stories we'll be watching in the coming days. French President Emmanuel Macron marks 100 days in office. Central bankers from around the world are set to gather at Jackson Hole in Wyoming. And we'll find out how the consumer goods industry is faring when the advertising giant WPP reports its interim results.
We'll start in France where on Monday Emmanuel Macron will mark his first 100 days in office, an anniversary the French president celebrates amid a growing economy, but shrinking approval ratings. Mr. Macron is seeking to regain some support when he embarks on a tour of Central and Eastern Europe later this week. There he will push for a tightening of the EU directive on so-called posted workers, which allows cheap labour to be sent to EU countries on temporary contracts.
He'll meet the Austrian, Slovak, and Czech leaders before visiting Bulgaria and Romania, which are large sources of posted workers in the EU. Here's our Paris bureau chief Anne-Sylvaine Chassany with more on why the president's approval ratings have dropped so much since he was elected.
At home, it seems the French are already growing tired of the president's love of pomp, tributarian communication style, and a series of missteps, including over the military budget that led to the resignation of a highly regarded general. Popular support for the 39-year-old centrist leader has melted down from 2/3 to 36% since he was elected in a runoff against far-right leader Marine Le Pen. This is 10 points lower than his deeply unpopular predecessor, socialist president Francois Hollande at the same time of his mandate five years ago.
Now let's turn to the US, where many of the world's leading central bankers will gather at the Jackson Hole Economic Symposium on Thursday. US Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen will be among those in attendance. But the highlight will be a speech by European Central Bank president Mario Draghi.
Markets will be listening for clues on how the ECB intends to wind down its $2 trillion euro quantitative easing programme. 10 years after the start of the global financial crisis, monetary policy makers are looking for ways to withdraw stimulus as economic fundamentals improve. But they want to do so without alarming markets. Our Frankfurt Bureau Chief, Claire Jones, explains.
Three years ago, Mario Draghi used his address at Jackson Hole to pave the way for quantitative easing. $2 trillion euros and three years later, the European Central Bank is now beginning to discuss winding down the QE programme. The question now is whether Mr. Draghi will use his address at Jackson Hole this week to drop some hints about what the end of eurozone QE is going to look like.
The expectation is that he's only really going to reveal the details later in the autumn. But he might drop a few hints as soon as next week. Look out for the subtle changes in tone on the eurozone recovery from the ECB president. That should be of interest to investors.
And finally, advertising giant WPP is set to report its interim results on Wednesday. The figures will give us an indication of the health of the consumer goods industry, which makes up a large part of WPP's client base. Here's our global media editor, Matt Garrahan, with more on what investors will be looking for in these results, and what they should tell us about the state of the global economy.
WPP is the world's largest advertising holding company. It owns brands like J. Walter Thompson and GroupM. It advises companies on where to place their ads. And it also creates those ads for those clients.
But in many ways because it's so big, it's a barometer for the global economy. If its clients are doing well and they're spending money on advertising, WPP does well. So the thing to look for in its earnings is what its clients are spending.
There's been a lot of talk in the markets recently about big consumer brands cutting their ad spending. When the global economy starts to contract, that's one of the first things that companies will cut. There are other issues too. A lot of advertising is moving online away from traditional media. WPP has to navigate that. So that's what investors are going to be looking for.
Like its peers, WPP is having to adapt to an evolving advertising market. Quickly changing technology is making powerful players out of Google and Facebook, which together attract more than 75% of all digital ad spending.
And that's what the week ahead looks like from the Financial Times in London. See you next time.