Key economic events for the week of Oct. 22

October 21, 2012

New economic data on housing, durable good orders and jobless claims should give a sense of the country’s economic momentum in the weeks leading up to the election.

The most closely watched indicators probably will be the Federal Reserve’s announcement on interest rate policy on Wednesday, followed by new data on the gross domestic product due out on Friday at 8:30 a.m.

Tuesday

The Federal Open Market Committee opens its meeting, where it is set to deliberate interest rate policy.

Wednesday

After meeting Tuesday, the Fed will disclose whether it plans to take any action on interest rates. Forecasters expect the funds rate to stay at 0.25 percent, the same rate it settled on after its last meeting in September.

The Census Bureau releases data on new home sales at 10 a.m. Analysts expect to see 382,000 new homes sold in September, which would be an increase over the 373,000 new homes sold in August.

Thursday

The Census Bureau releases its monthly look at durable goods orders at 8:30 a.m. This data point gives a sense of the amount of large goods companies are ordering, signaling their willingness to make more significant investments.

Analysts expect to see a 6.8 percent increase in durable goods orders between September and August. That would be a significant increase over the 13.2 percent drop in the month prior. The sharp drop followed months of smaller fluctuations.

The Labor Department releases its weekly look at initial jobless claims, also at 8:30 a.m. Forecasters expect to see 373,000 new job claims filed, a decrease from the 388,000 claims filed in the week prior.

Friday

The Bureau of Economic Analysis releases its first estimate for gross domestic product growth in the third quarter of 2012.

Analysts predict the data will show 1.8 percent GDP growth. That would be an increase over the 1.3 percent GDP growth seen in 2012’s second quarter.

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