Key economic events for the week of June 24

Last week, global markets went haywire in response to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke’s statement that the central bank could pull back on its economic stimulus measures as early as this year depending on the health of the economy. This week brings fresh updates on the status of the housing market, whose solid recovery is one of the reasons the Fed feels it might need to do less in the future.

Tuesday

Data on durable goods orders for May are out at 8:30 a.m. Orders are expected to increase 3.3 percent. They rose 3.3 percent in April, beating analysts’ expectations with gains in the aircraft industry.

Three housing reports are up next. First: the Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller home price index for April is out at 9 a.m. Home prices are expected to increase 10.6 percent from last year, a slightly slower rate than March, when they rose 10.8 percent. The housing recovery has been driven by rising home prices, but analysts are expecting gains to slow down as home supply catches up with demand.

Next up: the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s home price index. Analysts also expect a slight slowdown in this index for the month of April. Prices are expected to rise 1.1 percent, down from 1.3 percent in March.

Finally, new home sales for May are out at 10 a.m. They are expected to increase 1.8 percent. Sales were up 2.3 percent in March.

The consumer confidence index for June is also out at 10 a.m. The index is expected to fall to 75.4 from 76.2 last month, when it reached a five-year high.

Wednesday

At 10 a.m., Federal Reserve presidents Jeffrey Lacker of Richmond and Richard Fisher of Dallas are scheduled to testify before the House Financial Services Committee on Capitol Hill. They will present testimony on bank regulation and financial stability.

Thursday

Weekly jobless claims are out. They are expected to fall to 345,000, from 354,000 last week.

Personal income is expected to rise 0.2 percent in May. Income was unchanged in April from March.

Pending home sales for May are forecast to rise 1 percent, or 8.3 percent from a year ago. They were up 0.3 percent in April, and nearly 14 percent from the same time last year.

Amrita Jayakumar covers federal government contracting for Capital Business, The Post's local business publication.
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