Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke suggested in a letter last week that there was “scope for further action” by the central bank if the U.S. economy was still struggling. No doubt Fed officials will be watching this week’s batch of economic data closely for signs of what to do.


At 10:30 a.m., the Dallas Fed releases its regional economic survey for August. Last month’s report was surprisingly weak, so the results are sure to be watched closely.


Analysts expect the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index for June, released at 9 a.m., to register its first positive reading since 2010, a sign that the housing market is slowly recovering.

At 10 a.m., the Richmond Fed releases its regional manufacturing survey, expected to show a slight improvement after the previous month’s contraction.


At 8:30 a.m., the Bureau of Economic Analysis releases its revised figures for growth in the gross domestic product during the second quarter. Analysts expect the estimate to get revised upward slightly, from 1.5 percent to 1.7 percent, given that U.S. exports grew faster than initially thought last quarter.

At 10 a.m., the National Association of Realtors releases numbers on pending home sales for July, expected to show a slight bump up.

The Fed releases its “beige book,” an anecdotal survey of conditions around the country, at 2 p.m.


At 8:30 a.m., the Bureau of Labor Statistics releases its data on initial unemployment claims. Analysts expect that about 370,000 people will have filed for unemployment last week, down from 372,000 the week before.

The BEA also releases personal income figures at that time, with incomes in July expected to have risen 0.3 percent, down from 0.5 percent the month before.


Keep an eye on the Chicago Purchasing Managers Index at 9:45 a.m., and the Census data on factory orders for July. Both reports are expected to show a slight improvement in the health of the economy.

At 9:45 a.m., the University of Michigan releases data on consumer sentiment for August, which is expected to show no change.

—Brad Plumer

Must Reads

Find links at washingtonpost.com/mustreads