Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell in Washington last month.
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s remarks at the central bank’s Jackson Hole economic symposium on Friday cap off a full week of economic data.
August surveys of purchasing managers in some of the world’s largest economies—including the U.S.—will offer the freshest indication of how the rapid spread of the Delta variant of Covid-19 is affecting economic activity. Economists expect to see a modest slowdown in the expansion of the services sector in both the U.S. and Europe and declines in activity in both Japan and Australia.
U.S. home prices hit a record in June amid a housing boom that is pitting low mortgage rates and strong demand against limited supplies of homes for sale. Economists are forecasting a small drop in existing-home sales in July, to an annual pace of 5.83 million from 5.86 million a month earlier, as price and supply constraints lock more would-be buyers out of the market.
U.S. jobless claims fell to a new pandemic low in the second week of August, a sign the labor market continues to improve despite rising Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations. Economists are forecasting little change in applications for unemployment benefits during the week ended Aug. 21, an outcome that would suggest layoffs are holding fairly steady as the summer unfolds.