Global Economy Week Ahead: Consumer Spending, Fed Minutes

By Anonymous
Global Economy Week Ahead: Consumer Spending, Fed Minutes

American consumers reined in their spending in August, taking a breather after very strong sales growth in July. Photo: Gabby Jones/Bloomberg News

MONDAY

The Commerce Department publishes September consumer spending data. American consumers reined in their spending in August, taking a breather after very strong sales growth in July. Still, the overall weakness in August was largely because of a drop in auto sales. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal expect robust 0.7% growth.

TUESDAY

China will release inflation data on Tuesday, and economists see consumer price growth picking up modestly in September. Rising food and commodities prices are stoking inflation, which should leave less room for the central bank to ease monetary policy.

WEDNESDAY

The Federal Reserve releases minutes from its Sept. 25-26 meeting in which the central bank raised short-term interest rates by a quarter percentage point. Some Fed officials say as long as unemployment keeps falling farther below the level that they project is consistent with stable prices, the Fed will need to raise rates to prevent the economy from overheating. Others argue if inflation doesn’t appear to be accelerating beyond 2%, the Fed could stop raising rates after reaching a “neutral” setting designed to neither spur nor slow growth.

FRIDAY

China publishes economic growth figures for the third quarter. Economists’ median forecast for China’s third quarter gross domestic product growth is 6.6%, only a tick down from the second quarter’s 6.7%, but they warn that increasing trade tensions with the U.S. may create more headwinds for the Chinese economy next year.