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This Week in Business: housing market and inflation updates, Federal Reserve insight

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Housing market update

The Commerce Department delivers data on April newly constructed home sales Tuesday.

Economists forecast that sales slowed last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 650,000 homes from 683,000 in March. The housing market has cooled since the Federal Reserve began raising its main borrowing rate a year ago in its fight to bring down inflation. That substantially raised borrowing costs in an already expensive housing market.

New home sales, seasonally adjusted annual rate, by month:

Nov.: 582,000

Dec.: 622,000

Jan.: 648,000

Feb. 623,000

March: 683,000

April (est): 650,000

Source: FactSet

Fed insight

The Federal Reserve on Wednesday releases minutes from its policy meeting earlier this month.

It raised its key interest rate by a quarter point in May. It has been raising rates at a feverish pace since 2022 to fight inflation. Inflation has shown signs of cooling, but analysts are growing increasingly worried about a possible recession. The latest minutes could provide more insight into the central bank’s plan moving forward.

Measuring inflation

The Commerce Department on Friday delivers its April snapshot of U.S. consumer spending and inflation.

Economists expect the personal consumption expenditure price index, a gauge of inflation that’s closely monitored by the Federal Reserve, to warm up in April after cooling for several months. Inflation remains a big concern, with persistent pressure on consumers raising worries about a recession in 2023.

Consumer spending, monthly percent change, seasonally adjusted:

Nov.: 0.2

Dec.: 0.2

Jan.: 0.6

Feb.: 0.3

March: 0.1

April (est): 0.3

Source: FactSet

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