Manufacturing, Home Sales, and Business Activity: A Sneak Peek into This Week’s Economic Indicators


Last updated: December 26, 2023

This week, we’re keeping our eyes peeled for some key economic indicators.

First up, the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond is set to release its monthly manufacturing activity index on Wednesday. This index, a blend of shipments, new orders, and employment indexes, covers several states including Maryland, North Carolina, and Virginia.

A Sneak Peek into This Week's Economic Indicators
Courtesy of: https://www.federalreservehistory.org

Economists are betting on a slight improvement in December’s reading, from -5 in November to -4. Remember, a reading above zero means manufacturing activity is on the upswing.

Next, we’re tracking home sales. The National Association of Realtors is due to release its monthly pending home sales index on Thursday. In October, pending home sales dipped by 1.5% as mortgage rates hit their highest level since 2000. But economists are hopeful for a 0.5% rise last month, thanks to easing mortgage rates. This index is a good predictor of finalized home purchases in the next couple of months, so keep your eyes on the prize.

Finally, we’re looking at the Chicago business barometer index, set to be released by MNI Indicators on Friday. This index, a measure of U.S. regional business activity, jumped to 55.8 in November, its highest level since May 2022. But economists are predicting a drop to 49.8 this month. Just a heads up, readings above 50 mean economic activity is growing.

So, there you have it, folks. This week’s economic indicators are a mixed bag, but they’re sure to keep us on our toes. Stay tuned!

Also Read: US Economy: A Bumpy Landing Ahead



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