The Week Ahead: Retail, industry, housing and the Beige Book

The economic reporting week shines a statistical spotlight on three broad functions of the economy.

On Monday, consumption, with the retail sales report, published at 8:30 a.m. New York time.

On Tuesday, the light moves upstream, to manufacturing, in the  industrial production report, out at 9:15 a.m.

And also on Tuesday, a report highlights the real-estate sector, with the  housing starts report, out at 8:30 a.m.

It will also be an active week for the Federal Reserve and its glitterati. The Beige Book, a narrative summary of conditions in each of the Fed’s regions, will be published on Wednesday at 2 p.m.

That event will be bracketed by appearances by Fed Vice Chairman Randal K. Quarles before Congress, on Tuesday at 10 a.m. before the House Financial Services Committee and Thursday at 9:30 a.m. before the Senate Banking Committee. He will be reporting on the supervision and regulation of financial companies by the Fed.

Fed Gov. Lael Brainard will speak on regulatory reform to the Global Finance Forum in Washington, D.C. on Thursday at 8 a.m.

Leading indicators (in descending order of importance):

The interest rate spread between 10-year Treasuries and the federal funds rate, reported continually during market hours.

The M2 money supply, at 4:30 p.m. Thursday.

The S&P 500 index, reported continually during market hours.

Average weekly initial claims for unemployment, from the jobless claims report at 8:30 a.m. Thursday.

Building permits for new private homes from housing starts, at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday.

The leading indicators index, although not in itself a leading indicator, will be published at 10 a.m. Thursday. I find it useful as a “you are here” signpost within the ebb and flow of the business cycle.

Events arranged by day:

Monday: Retail sales and the Empire State manufacturing survey of conditions in New York, each at 9:30 a.m., business inventories and the Home Builders’ housing market index, each at 10 a.m., and the Treasury international capital flows report at 4 p.m.

Tuesday: Housing starts at 8:30 a.m. and industrial production at 9:15 a.m.

Wednesday:  Petroleum inventories at 10:30 a.m. and the Federal Reserve Beige Book at 2 p.m.

Thursday: Jobless claims and the Philadelphia Federal Reserve business outlook survey based on conditions in the mid-Atlantic region, each at 8:30 a.m., leading indicators at 10 a.m. and the M2 money supply at 4:30 p.m.

I also keep an eye on the Baltic Dry Index, updated daily, and the 5-year implied inflation rate which is the difference between the yields on 5-year U.S. Treasury notes and  5-year Treasury inflation protected securities (TIPS).

By Tim Bovee, Portland, Oregon, April 14, 2018


Tim Bovee, Private Trader tracks the analysis and trades of a private trader for his own accounts. Nothing in this blog constitutes a recommendation to buy or sell stocks, options or any other financial instrument. The only purpose of this blog is to provide education and entertainment.

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