This week is a busy one on the economic calendar as Wall Street waits to hear any new clues as to when the Federal Reserve will begin to taper its stimulus program. Also in focus is the initial reading on the U.S. second-quarter gross domestic product and the July jobs report.
Federal Reserve policymakers will gather for the Federal Open Market Committee’s meeting Tuesday and Wednesday. Investors are looking to the meeting to gain clarity on when the U.S. central bank may begin to taper its $85 billion-a-month bond-buying program.
Global markets turned volatile in late May after Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said the central bank planned to scale back its stimulus program once the economy sees improvement, while minutes from the FOMC’s June 18-19 meeting showed about ONE-half of Fed policymakers favored ending its stimulus program late this year.
The FOMC will release an announcement Wednesday at 2 p.m. EDT.
U.S. Second-Quarter GDP
U.S. GDP, a measure of all goods and services produced in the economy, expanded at a 1.8 percent annual rate in the first quarter, the Commerce Department said in its final reading in June. That was down from the initial estimate of 2.5 percent reported in April.
U.S. GDP for the period from April to June is expected to rise at a 1 percent annual rate, according to the median forecast in a Bloomberg survey.
The Commerce Department will report U.S. second-quarter GDP Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. EDT.
July Jobs Report
The U.S. economy is expected to have added 185,000 jobs in July, according to economists polled by Reuters, down from the 195,000 jobs created in June. The unemployment rate is expected to tick down to 7.5 percent in July from 7.6 percent the previous month.
Nonfarm payrolls and the unemployment rate for July will be issued Friday at 8:30 a.m. EDT.