Sterling awaits crucial week
The pound fell slightly on the dollar this morning as analysts awaited news of the chancellor's pre-budget report and the prospects for British growth.
The dollar stood at 1.7357 to the pound while the euro was at 1.4790 against sterling.
Early signs ahead of the report suggested growth would falter - with the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) revising its economic forecast, predicting less growth for the UK.
The organisation's forecast for UK GDP in 2005 is down to 1.7 per cent, 0.2 per cent lower than its August prediction.
The revision is based upon the low levels of earnings growth and consumer spending when compared to recent years.
Chief economist Ian McCafferty explained: "The outlook for the economy appears to be another year of below trend growth."
"Spending power will be constrained by high energy costs and an unwillingness to borrow, by the past burden of debt and all those 'need to save' headlines," he added.
The CBI's revised figures are in line with the forecasts of the International Monetary Fund, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Bank.
With a series of firms also reporting this week, there could be clear signs of the prospects for both British industry and sterling by Friday.
Tomorrow Christian Salvesen, City Lofts Group, Greene King and Severn Trent report interim results, while ITE and OMG deliver final results.
HBOS will issue a trading statement, as will Standard Chartered, while PartyGaming, Bradford & Bingley and RBOS will issue their updates at the end of the week.