Economic Data This Week To Reveal Strength of U.S.Economy

funnyThe week ahead will be filled with a wide range of economic data that is expected to provide investors with a better perspective about the overall strength of the U.S. recovery.

The two big economic data points  for the week will come on Wednesday and Friday.

U.S. GDP for the 2nd quarter of 2013 will be released on Wednesday, the same day the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) wraps up their two day committee meeting to discuss interest rates.

Investors will be paying close attention to the Fed’s policy statement released later on Wednesday for any signs that the Fed may want to begin “moderating” their asset purchases through quantitative easing.

Although Fed Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said that the decision will be “data dependent”, many economists still believe that the Fed will gradually begin to moderate their $85 billion monthly program of asset purchases in September.

Consensus estimates for 2013 2nd quarter GDP are at 1.0 percent, a level that is noticeably lower than 1.8 percent in the 1st quarter.

Reduced spending levels at the federal government due to “across the board” sequester cuts still remains a drag on growth for the U.S. economy in 2013 and the sequester cuts became more acute in the 2nd quarter.

On Friday the July jobs report will be released before the market bell.

Estimates from expect 175,000 non-farm payroll jobs were added to the U.S. economy in July, down from 195,000 in July.

The unemployment level is expected to fall to 9.5 percent from 9.6 percent in July.

Some of the other economic data that is expected to move the markets this week includes consumer confidence, auto sales, ADP, ISM, the Case-Shiller 20 city index, and factory orders.

The European Central Bank and Bank of England will also be meeting this week after pledging last month to keep interest rates low.

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