Earlier on the U.S. economy: Summary for Week ending March 11th
The key releases this week will be industrial production and the consumer price index on Thursday. The Federal Reserve FOMC meets on Tuesday. For housing, the NHAB housing market index will be released on Tuesday, and housing starts on Wednesday.
—– Monday, March 14th —–
—– Tuesday, March 15th —–
8:30 AM: NY Fed Empire Manufacturing Survey for March. The consensus is for a reading of 16.0, up from the reading of 15.43 in February. The regional manufacturing surveys have been showing strong growth in activity recently.
10:00 AM: The March NAHB homebuilder survey. The consensus is for a reading of 17, up slightly from 16 in February. Any number below 50 indicates that more builders view sales conditions as poor than good. This index has been below 25 for the last 3 1/2 years.
2:15 PM: FOMC Meeting Announcement. No changes are expected to either the federal funds rate or QE2.
—– Wednesday, March 16th —–
7:00 AM: The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) will release the mortgage purchase applications index. This index has been very weak over the last couple months suggesting weak home sales through the first few months of 2011.
8:30 AM: Producer Price Index for February. The consensus is for a 0.6% increase in producer prices, and a 0.2% increase in core PPI.
8:30 AM: Housing Starts for February. After collapsing following the housing bubble, housing starts have mostly moved sideways at a very depressed level for the last two years.
This graph shows total and single unit starts since 1968.
Total housing starts were at 596 thousand (SAAR) in January, up 14.6% from the revised December rate of 520 thousand, however single-family starts decreased 1.0% to 413 thousand in January – the lowest level since early 2009.
The consensus is for a decrease to 560,000 (SAAR) in February.
—– Thursday, March 17th —–
8:30 AM: Consumer Price Index for February. The consensus is for a 0.4% increase for CPI in February – due to a surge in energy prices – but for core CPI to only show an increase of 0.1%.
8:30 AM: The initial weekly unemployment claims report will be released. The consensus is for a decrease to 385,000 from 397,000 last week.
9:15 AM ET: The Fed will release Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization for February.
Capacity utilization at 76.1% is still far below normal – and well below the pre-recession levels of 81.2% in November 2007.
The consensus is for a 0.6% increase in Industrial Production in February, and an increase to 76.5% (from 76.1%) for Capacity Utilization.
10:00 AM: Philly Fed Survey for March. The consensus is for a reading of 32.0, down from the very strong 35.9 in February.
10:00 AM: Conference Board Leading Indicators for February. The consensus is for a 1.0% increase for this index.
—– Friday, March 18th —–
After 4:00 PM: The FDIC might have a busy Friday afternoon …
Best wishes to All!