This week’s economic data should offer insights into the housing market, retail sales, business inventories and the mood among small businesses, among other things.


Retail sales for April are released at 8:30 a.m. They are expected to show a decline of 0.3 percent, a slight improvement from March, when they fell by 0.4 percent. The retail sector added 29,000 jobs last month, according to the latest jobs report.

Business inventories for March come out at 10 a.m. They are expected to have grown by 0.3 percent after a decline of 0.1 percent in February.

European finance ministers kick off a two-day meeting in Brussels to discuss a banking union for the continent, among other issues.


The National Federation of Independent Business releases its small-business optimism index for April at 7:30 a.m. Analysts expect the index to increase by one point, to 90.5.

Import prices for April are expected to remain unchanged.

The Federal Reserve of New York releases its quarterly report on the state of household debt in the country.


The producer price index, a measure of inflation, is expected to show no change for April, at 0.6 percent.

Analysts predict that industrial production will have declined by 0.1 percent in April, after a March increase of 0.4 percent.

The National Association of Home Builders’ monthly survey, a gauge of builders’ optimism about the housing market, is expected to have gone up a notch, to 43, in April.


Weekly jobless claims are expected to hit 330,000, up from last week’s 323,000.

Housing starts for April are released at 8:30 a.m. After a phenomenal jump in March, when housing starts crossed 1 million, analysts expect the number to show a drop of 6 percent, to 975,000.

Amrita Jayakumar