Friday , 14 December 2018
                 
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5Things to Watch on the Economic Calendar
Date : Friday , 2015/12/18 23:15

With the festive season in full swing, attention on the economy is likely to focus on holiday shopping. While trading could slow in the Christmas week, economy-watchers will want to keep an eye on these five things.

1The House that Low Interest Rates Built

Housing construction has been an economic bright spot in many areas of the country despite the prospect of higher mortgage rates after the Federal Reserve’sincrease in borrowing costs. Tuesday sees the National Association of Realtors release of existing home salesfor November, while sales of newly built homes will be released Wednesday. Unseasonably warm weather and an ongoing shortage of construction workers will be two factors to watch. Sales of newly built homes rose in October, leaving the housing market on track for its best year since 2007.

2Abundant Jobs and Cheap Gas, Purveyors of Holiday Cheer?

Are low oil prices and a strong job market prompting consumers to splurge on big-ticket items like refrigerators and televisions? Wednesday, theCommerce Department releases personal income and durable goods data for November.

3Brightening Consumers

A second reading on consumer sentiment will provide indications on whether shoppers are feeling more like Santa or Scrooge. The uptick reported by the University of Michigan preliminary December sentiment indexcould be confirmed when the index releases final consumer-sentiment data for December on Wednesday. The data should give further clues about how Decemberholiday shopping is shaping up for retailers.

4Fall in Fall Growth?

On Tuesday, the Commerce Department provides its third look at third-quarter economic growth and corporate profits. Analysts expect it to show a small downward revision due to a slightly quicker pace of inventory reduction.

5Limited Layoffs

The Labor Department releases weekly jobless claims data Thursday, Christmas Eve. Weekly jobless claims in 2015 are on track to post the smallest annual average since 1973, reflecting an improved labor market and the lowest level of layoffs in years. Markets close early on Christmas Eve and remain shuttered for Christmas Day on Friday.
 
  By Harriet Torry  
The Wall Street Journal