After the previous week’s economic data frenzy, this week could seem quiet in comparison.

On Friday, the jobs numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics suggested that the U.S. labor market was improving at a slow-but-steady pace, with unemployment dropping down to 7.8 percent. And, in the euro zone, the European Central Bank held interest rates steady.

There isn’t likely to be any news that big this week, but there are smaller releases on trade, inflation, and jobs to keep an eye on.


At 7:30 a.m., the National Federation of Independent Business releases its September survey of optimism among small businesses.


At 10:00 a.m., the Bureau of Labor Statistics releases its data on job openings, layoffs, and departures in August. The number of job openings is expected to have risen slightly, and this data should give us a better picture of the state of the labor market.

At 2:00 p.m., the Federal Reserve releases its Beige Book, a look at economic conditions in the Fed’s 12 districts around the country.


At 8:30 a.m,. the Commerce Department releases its trade data for August. Analysts expect the deficit to have widened slightly to $44 billion, as a result of higher oil prices.

Also at 8:30 a.m., the Bureau of Labor Statistics releases data on initial unemployment claims for the past week. These numbers have been trending down in recent weeks, and analysts expect another weekly number of around 368,000 initial unemployment claims — another sign of a labor market that’s slowly improving.


At 8:30 a.m., the BLS releases its Producer Price Index for September, which analysts expect to show that costs for producers have risen 0.8 percent on the back of rising fuel prices.

At 9:55 a.m., Reuters and the University of Michigan release their preliminary data on consumer sentiment for October. Consumer confidence has been rising in recent weeks in a number of different surveys.

Brad Plumer