Fed Minutes, Housing Data In Focus This Week

ahhHousing data and minutes from the Federal Reserve’s last meeting in April will come into view this week and provide some clues about the health of the U.S. economy and the likelihood of an interest rate hike in the approaching months.

Demand for housing typically strengthens in the spring, especially in an environment with low interest rates and an improving job market.

On Monday the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index will be reported for May.

The NAHB housing index is a widely watched gauge of the outlook for the U.S. housing sector.

On Tuesday new data for April housing starts and building permits will be reported followed by existing home sales (April) on Thursday.

Minutes from the Fed’s April 29th meeting will be released on Wednesday.

During the April Fed meeting, Fed officials were still digesting an unexpected slowdown in the labor market contained in the April jobs report since it contained backwards looking jobs data from the previous month in March that revealed a sharp drop with only 126,000 jobs added to the economy.

The March figure of 126,000 was revised even lower to 85,000 during the latest job report for May which also showed a solid bounce back with 223,000 jobs added to the economy for the month of April.

Last week, U.S. economic data disappointed to the downside with retail sales showing weakness, despite Americans having more disposable income due to lower gas prices, a rising housing market, and wages that are slowly increasing.

More bad news came last week with U.S. industrial production and consumer confidence for the month of May which fell to a seven month low.

U.S. Economic Calendar

Monday- NAHB Housing Market Index (May)

Tuesday- Housing Starts, Building Permits (April)

Wednesday- Fed Minutes from the 4/29/15 Fed meeting, MBA Mortgage Index (5/16/15), Crude Inventories (5/16/15)

Thursday-Existing Home Sales (April), Initial and Continuing Jobless Claims, Philadelphia Fed (May), Leading Indicators (April), Natural Gas Inventories (5/16/15)

Friday- CPI and Core CPI (April)

-Johnathan Schweitzer

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