A look at some of the key business events and economic indicators upcoming this week:
American consumers have been feeling more confident lately than they’ve been since 2000.
The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index rose to 130.8 in February, the highest since November 2000, and up from 124.3 in January. Economists predict that the business research group’s index for March, due out Tuesday, will show consumer confidence edged up to 131. Readings of 90 or better reflect a healthy economy.
Consumer confidence, monthly:
March (est.) 131.0
The Commerce Department delivers its latest quarterly estimate of U.S. economic growth Wednesday.
Economists project that the economy, as measured by the gross domestic product, increased at a 2.5 percent seasonally adjusted annual rate in the last three months of 2017. That would be down from the previous two quarters, when the economy posted consecutive gains of just above 3 percent.
GDP, seasonally adjusted annual rate, by quarter:
Q3 2016: 2.8
Q4 2016: 1.8
Q1 2017: 1.2
Q2 2017: 3.1
Q3 2017: 3.2
Q4 2017 (est.): 2.5
CASH IN, CASH OUT
American consumers account for 70 percent of U.S. economic activity, so the more they spend, the more the economy grows.
Spending rose just 0.2 percent in January after increases of 0.4 percent and 0.7 percent the previous two months. January’s slowdown came even as consumer incomes jumped because of last year’s tax law overhaul. Did the trend continue in February? Find out Thursday, when the Commerce Department issues its latest consumer spending data.
Consumer spending, monthly percent change, seasonally adjusted:
Feb. (est.) 0.2