This Week: Consumer confidence, GDP, consumer spending

August 24, 2020 GMT

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


The economic fallout from the pandemic has eroded consumers’ confidence.

An index measuring consumers’ views about the short-term outlook for income, business and labor market conditions declined from a reading of 130.4 in January to 85.7 in April. It has improved since then as large swaths of the economy have begun to reopen. Did the trend continue this month? Find out Tuesday, when the Conference Board delivers its latest consumer confidence index.

Consumer confidence, by month:


March 118.8

April 85.7

May 85.9

June 98.3

July 92.6

Aug. (est.) 93.6

Source: FactSet


The Commerce Department delivers its latest estimate of second-quarter economic growth Thursday.

Last month, the government projected that the economy, as measured by the gross domestic product, plunged by a record-shattering 32.9% annual rate in the April-June quarter. Economists expect that the latest estimate will show the same magnitude of collapse in economic growth.

GDP, seasonally adjusted annual rate, by quarter:

Q1 2019: 2.9

Q2 2019: 1.5

Q3 2019: 2.6

Q4 2019: 2.4

Q1 2020: -5.0

Q2 2020 (est.): -32.9

Source: FactSet


Americans have spent more freely this summer after a steep pullback in March and April due to the pandemic business shutdowns.

Spending rose 8.5% in May and a solid 5.6% in June as states began allowing some businesses to reopen. Still, a recent surge in confirmed coronavirus cases may have led to another slowdown in spending. Economists predict that consumer spending rose only 1.5% in July. The Commerce Department issues its monthly tally of consumer spending Friday.

Consumer spending, monthly percent change, seasonally adjusted:

Feb. -0.0

March -6.7

April -12.9

May 8.5

June 5.6

July (est.) 1.5

Source: FactSet