This Week: Home prices, consumer confidence, jobless claims
A look at some of the key business events and economic indicators upcoming this week:
RISING HOME VALUES
A healthy demand for homes and a shrinking supply of available properties has helped keep home prices rising.
The Standard & Poor’s CoreLogic Case-Shiller home price index, which tracks the value of homes in 20 major U.S. metropolitan areas, rose 6.2 percent in September from a year earlier. Economists expect that October’s reading, which is due out Tuesday, will show a 6.3 percent gain in home prices versus the same month last year.
S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller home price index, annual percent change, by month:
Oct. (est.) 6.3
BRIMMING WITH CONFIDENCE
The Conference Board releases its monthly consumer confidence index Wednesday.
The business research group’s index measures consumers’ assessment of current conditions and their outlook for the next six months. The index hit 129.5 in November, the highest reading since November 2000, reflecting the growing U.S. economy and job market. The index hit bottom at 25.3 in February 2009 at the depths of the Great Recession.
Consumer confidence, by month:
Dec. (est.) 128.8.0
LABOR MARKET BELLWETHER
Weekly applications for unemployment benefits have been mostly declining in recent weeks.
They ticked up two weeks ago to a seasonally adjusted 245,000, the first increase in five weeks. Even so, applications remain at a low level that points to a healthy job market. Applications are a proxy for layoffs. Readings below 300,000 are low by historical standards. The Labor Department releases its latest tally of unemployment aid applications Thursday.
Initial jobless benefit claims, weekly, seasonally adjusted:
Nov. 17: 240,000
Nov. 24: 238,000
Dec. 1: 236,000
Dec. 8: 225,000
Dec. 15: 245,000
Dec. 22: (est.) 240,000