05:40: I wake up to London's 24-hour news radio station, News Direct, which gives me a round-up of the overnight market moves.
06:30: After a 20-minute journey from Greenwich into work at Canary Wharf - I go by Docklands Light Railway - I arrive at my desk and start looking through all the newspapers for economic and political stories.
This morning the broadsheets are full of reports of a political debate within the Conservative party. This is a fairly interesting read, but there is little of relevance from an economic policy point of view.
07.15:Our daily morning meeting starts. Following comments from the other offices
around the globe, UK Economics has its slot. In this, I tell the salespeople
and traders that there's just one piece of data to look out for in the UK
today, the Confederation of British industry's monthly survey of
manufacturing, due at 11am.
We think the balances in this will continue to show that the manufacturing sector is struggling, but that the situation is broadly unchanged from the previous month's survey.
08:00: I call our corporate communications department to discuss our latest piece
of research, published the previous day, and talk about the strategy for making sure that this gets maximum coverage in this weekend's newspapers.
08:15: After a breakfast of fruit salad at my desk (I've decided that while a
couple of croissants each day are very tasty, they probably won't do me much
good), I start on my first big piece of work for the day.
This involves updating our spreadsheet for the Bank of England's forecasts by downloading
and checking all of the data from the latest Inflation Report. After that, I put together the UK pages for our 'Traders' Guide' publication, containing our forecasts for the data that will be released over the next couple of weeks.
11:00: The CBI manufacturing data are broadly in line with what we had expected,
and have little impact on the market. That said, this is still useful information for all our clients.
So, we write a short comment, which will scroll around on the 'Instant Insights' section of the Barclays Capital Research homepage and also send this out on all of our e-mail lists. A slick
set-up means this whole process is completed around five minutes after the data are released.
12:00: I start work on a piece of analysis that is likely to take a few days,
extending our detailed macro economic forecasts into 2003. This time round,
we are also carrying out a fairly substantial rearrangement of our
spreadsheets, which calls for some very careful checking of
calculations. 100% accuracy is absolutely essential in this line of work.
13:00: I should know better. It's always a bit of a mistake to go into the mall to
pick up my lunch at one o'clock, when tens of thousands of people here at
Canary Wharf descend on the sandwich shops. Anyway, a nice
chargrilled-pepper and parmesan 'wrap' makes up for it - enjoyed at the
desk, of course.
13:15: While I'm working on the macro forecast update for the rest of the afternoon,
several ad hoc requests for data and forecasts come through. Salespeople,
traders, other members of the research team and, of course, our clients,
often call asking for information on financial markets series or
The very comprehensive databases that we can draw on
mean we are usually able to put these figures together quickly, helping to
keep our internal and external clients happy.
15:20:Our head of global editing pays me a visit at the desk, to run through the
CVs of a couple of potential editors before I see them in an interview next week. This will be a good opportunity to see if I can work with people who will be going over our writing with a fine-toothed comb.
16:00:Having read our latest piece of research, a journalist from one of the
Sunday newspapers calls to talk about the outlook for consumer activity in
the UK, and the possible impact of the US slowdown.
Making full use of my
diplomatic skills I tell him that we think the media are overplaying the
effects of the slowdown on the UK, and that this risks having a negative
impact on consumer confidence and spending.
I tell him that we don't see his paper as being one of the culprits.
18:30-18:45: This is the usual time that I plan to leave each evening. Often I
overrun - it's amazing how time flies after six pm - but today's been a productive day and I've reached a natural break.