Key economic events for the week of Aug. 20

The economic indicators due out this week should shed some light on the willingness of American consumers and businesses to spend.

Wednesday

The National Association of Realtors releases its monthly tally of sales for previously constructed homes. It measures demand for housing and consumers’ confidence in making a large investment.

Analysts expect to see 4.52 million existing homes sold in July, a slight uptick from the 4.37 million homes that were sold in June.

The Federal Reserve’s open market committee releases minutes from its Aug. 1 meeting at 2 p.m. Analysts are likely to look to the summary for clues as to where the committee is headed with future policies.

Thursday

More housing information is out at 10 a.m. as the National Association of Realtors releases numbers on new home sales in July. The data offers hints of the state of construction activity and the economy in general.

Analysts expect to see 365,000 new homes sold in July. That would be an increase over the 350,000 homes sold in the previous month.

The piece of jobs data to watch this week is new jobless claims, which is released by the Department of Labor at 8:30 a.m. It measures how many Americans filed new claims for unemployment benefits.

Analysts expect to see 365,000 new jobless claims filed last week, slightly fewer than the 366,000 claims filed the week before.

Friday

Durable good orders, released at 8:30 a.m, reflect new orders placed by domestic manufacturers. It can give clues to future economic output, as it shows what basic supplies companies are stocking up on.

Analysts expect to see that durable good orders increased by 2.5 percent last month. That would be a bigger increase than in June, when durable good orders ticked up by 1.6 percent.

— Sarah Kliff

 
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