AP NEWS

This Week: Retail sales, Fed policy update, Tiffany earns

March 16, 2020 GMT

A look at some of the key business events and economic indicators upcoming this week:

SIZING UP RETAIL SALES

Economists project that U.S. retail sales grew at a modest pace last month.

They expect the Commerce Department will report Tuesday that sales rose 0.3% in February, matching January’s pace. Retail sales have climbed every month since October. Retail sales are closely watched because consumer spending accounts for about two-thirds of economic growth and economists are counting on consumers to remain strong to offset weakness in other areas of the economy such as trade and business investment.

Retail sales, monthly percent change, seasonally adjusted:

Sept. -0.4

Oct. 0.3

Nov. 0.2

Dec. 0.2

Jan. 0.3

Feb. (est.) 0.3

Source: FactSet

MORE STIMULUS?

The Federal Reserve has taken steps this month to calm financial markets rattled by coronavirus fears.

It unexpectedly cut its benchmark interest rate by half a percentage point and then unveiled a massive short-term lending program to try to smooth trading in U.S. Treasurys. Many economists expect the Fed will move to cut interest rates by a full percentage point, to nearly zero, at its latest monthly meeting of policymakers Wednesday.

SPARKLE & SHINE

Tiffany & Co. delivers its latest quarterly snapshot Friday.

Wall Street expects the luxury jeweler’s fiscal fourth-quarter earnings and revenue increased from a year earlier. That would be a strong finish for the company, which posted lower profits the previous three quarters. French luxury group LVMH, owner of the Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior and Bulgari brands, agreed to buy Tiffany in November for $16.2 billion.