The Washington Post

Key economic events for the week of Sept. 2

Put away your sunscreen and flip-flops, economy-watchers — this week unofficially marks the end of summer. Members of Congress return to Washington after the August recess. The start of a new month also means it’s time for the country’s latest jobs report.


Markets remain closed for the Labor Day holiday.


At 10 a.m., the Institute of Supply Management releases its August manufacturing index. The manufacturing sector has experienced a volatile few months but appears to be on the upswing after improvement in service-related industries. Analysts expect this index — which is a gauge for economic growth — to touch 54, a slight drop from 55.4 in July. A number above 50 indicates growth.

At 10 a.m., the Census Bureau releases construction spending figures. Spending for the month of July is forecast to have increased 0.3 percent, after a decline of 0.6 percent in June.


The country’s trade deficit for the month of July is out at 8:30 a.m. Analysts predict that the deficit widened to $38.8 billion during the period. It stood at $34.2 billion in June.

The Federal Reserve releases its anecdotal look at the state of the economy, also known as the “Beige Book,” at 2 p.m. The central bank has attracted a lot of attention of late as it mulls when to begin rolling back its multibillion-dollar stimulus program. The Fed’s survey of the economy could offer clues into the timing of its decision.

Automobile companies are slated to release sales figures through the day.


At 8:15 a.m., payroll-processing firm Automated Data Processing releases its report on the state of private-sector jobs. Analysts predict that the private sector added 184,000 jobs in August, lower than July’s figure of 200,000.

Factory orders for July — out at 10 a.m. — are expected to decline by 3.5 percent, after an increase of 1.5 percent in June.

Weekly jobless claims are expected to fall slightly to 330,000, from 331,000 last week.


The Labor Department releases its latest jobs report at 8:30 a.m. The August unemployment rate is expected to stay unchanged at 7.4 percent. Analysts expect the number of jobs added to be 180,000, up from July’s figure of 162,000.

The Fed says the timing of its decision to scale back the stimulus program is dependent on the labor market and the country’s economic growth rate. Last week, the Bureau of Economic Analysis revised the second-quarter growth rate up to 2.5 percent, from an initial estimate of 1.7 percent.

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



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