The Washington Post

Key economic events for the week of Dec. 23

Last week’s economic news stirred optimism for the new year.

The Federal Reserve said it would finally begin scaling back its economic stimulus program in January, a sign of faith in the nation’s recovery. A revision to the country’s third-quarter growth rate showed that the economy grew faster than analysts expected.

This week, look for updates on the housing market and personal income.


Data released in the morning is projected to show that Americans’ incomes grew by 0.5 percent in November. Income decreased by 0.1 percent the previous month. Spending is expected to have fallen by 0.1 percent.


November orders for durable goods are likely to have increased by 1.5 percent, according to analysts. They fell by 2 percent in October, as a result of lower demand for aircraft. Durable goods orders are considered a guide on how businesses plan to spend money.

At 10 a.m., two housing reports are to be released: the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s house price index for October and the Census Bureau’s data on new-home sales for November. Analysts forecast that home prices grew 0.5 percent and sales of new homes dropped by 1 percent. Prices were up by 0.3 percent in September. New-home sales, an extremely volatile sector of the housing market, surged more than 25 percent in October.


Markets are closed on Christmas Day.


Weekly jobless claims are projected to fall to 340,000, down from a nine-month high of 379,000 claims last week. The spike in jobless claims was attributed to distortions in holiday data.

Amrita Jayakumar covers national startups, small business issues and entrepreneurship.



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