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The Week Ahead: The Fed Measures the Economy

On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve will release its latest Summary of Commentary on Current Economic Conditions by Federal Reserve District, or Beige Book. The Beige Book is published eight times per year, and summarizes key economic conditions by each of the Fed districts.

According to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s June Survey of Consumer Expectations, Americans are more optimistic regarding their financial situation and the labor market. Expectations on the U.S. unemployment rate, finding a job, and losing one’s job all improved.

Consumers’ expectations of an increase in the average interest rate on savings accounts over the next year declined to their lowest level since May 2015, according to the survey. The report states that median home price change expectations were stable at 3% in June, which is the seventh-consecutive month at this level.

The Federal Reserve Bank’s survey revealed that median expected household income growth increased to 2.9% in June from 2.8% in May. Median household spending growth expectations decreased from 3.5% in May to June’s 3.3%.

Additionally, CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Index (HPI) revealed national home price rose 3.6% year-over-year in May 2019.

The latest jobs report released last week revealed the economy added 224,000 jobs in June, the most January.

“After May's weaker jobs data, which was revised even lower today, the June report takes on new importance as a sign of whether the May data was a one-month blip or the start of a new weaker trend,” said Danielle Hale, Chief Economist for realtor.com. “The 224,000 jobs added in June are a strong bounce back and will likely make the Fed less inclined toward rate cuts later this month, especially as the unemployment rate still hovers near 50-year lows at 3.7%.”

Here's what else is happening in the Week Ahead.

  • NAHB home builders index (July 16)
  • Census Bureau Housing Starts (July 17)
  • Banking Committee Hearing (July 17)
  • CoreLogic LoanSafe Webinar (July 18)
  • UofM Consumer Sentiment (July 19)

About Author: Seth Welborn

Seth Welborn is a contributing writer for DS News. He is a Harding University graduate with a degree in English and a minor in writing, and has studied abroad in Athens, Greece. An East Texas native, he also works part-time as a photographer.
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