The Washington Post

Key economic events for the week of Aug. 26

Last week, the housing market posted mixed reports as existing-home sales touched a four-year high but new-home sales fell by the largest amount in three years. Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve reaffirmed its decision to begin tapering its stimulus program next month. This week, expect more news about housing as well as updates on personal income.


Durable goods orders for July are out at 8:30 a.m. They are expected to fall by 4 percent, after a rise of more than 4 percent in June. Analysts forecast a fall because of volatility in aircraft orders and a disappointing sales report from manufacturer Caterpillar.


When the Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller home price index is released at 9 a.m., home prices are expected to have increased at roughly the same pace in June as they did in May. Prices are forecast to rise 12.1 percent, compared with a rise of 12.2 percent in May. Home buyers still are facing a shortage of homes for sale, but rising mortgage rates are starting to push some buyers out of the market.

Consumer confidence for August is expected to drop a notch to 79, from 80.3 in July.


At 10 a.m., the National Association of Realtors releases pending home sales numbers. Sales are expected to stay flat in July, after a decrease of 0.4 percent the previous month, likely an effect of rising mortgage rates. Sales were up 9 percent from last year.


Jobless claims are expected to fall to 330,000 from 336,000 last week. At 8:30 a.m., the Commerce Department releases its second revision of estimates for the country’s second-quarter growth rate. The rate is forecast to be revised to 2.2 percent, up from the initial lukewarm estimate of 1.7 percent.


This morning, the Commerce Department releases personal income data for July. Income is forecast to rise 0.2 percent, after an increase of 0.3 percent the previous month. Even as the labor market improves, the growth of income has remained slow.

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



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