With Black Friday creeping earlier and earlier into the week, the U.S. retail sector will be front and center for investors next week, as the holiday shopping season officially kicks off -- bookended by what can only be referred to as Black Friday Eve on Thanksgiving night and Cyber Monday.

Economists will focus on holiday sales and how they compare with a year ago. Sales are expected to rise between 4 percent to 4.5 percent compared with a 3.8 percent increase a year ago, according to PNC Financial Services Group. 

"As we see it, falling oil prices are likely to boost consumer spending just as we move into the holiday season. We expect a jump in traditional discounting to lure shoppers, as increased dispensable income due to lower energy prices is targeted by business," said Peter Cardillo, chief economist at Rockwell Global Capital.

The Commerce Department is scheduled to issue its consumer spending report for October on Wednesday after previous data showed Americans cut spending during September. Economists expect spending increased 0.3 percent last month compared with a decline of 0.2 percent in September, according to analysts polled by Reuters.

Despite that cutback in September, Wall Street expects lower gas prices to boost holiday season shopping. Black Friday revelers are expected to spend an average of $399 per shopper while the average planned expenditure on Cyber Monday is $361, according to Bankrate.com. That compares with $407.23 and $468, respectively in 2013.

In the aftermath of Japan’s announcement that the world’s third-largest economy unexpectedly fell into recession, the global markets are looking ahead to Tuesday's first revision to U.S. GDP for the third quarter. U.S. gross domestic product initially came in stronger than expected after data showed the U.S. economy expanded at a 3.5 percent annual rate during the July-September quarter.

The U.S. economy grew at an annual rate of 4.6 percent in the second quarter of 2015, the Commerce Department said in September, in its third and final estimate. Economists expect the U.S. economy grew at a 3.3 percent annual rate last quarter, according to Reuters. 

Also ahead on next week’s economic calendar is the core personal consumption expenditures, or PCE index, which the Fed uses as another key gauge to measure U.S. inflation. Excluding food and energy prices, which are considered to be volatile, economists expect core PCE to tick up 0.2 percent from 0.1 percent in September.

“We think it’s going to be a good holiday season. The drop in gas prices is the icing on the cake for consumers, and it will likely make a good holiday shopping season even better,” said Stuart Hoffman, senior vice president and chief economist for PNC Financial Services Group.

Here's the latest economic calendar for the week of Nov. 24. All listed times are EST.

Monday, Nov. 24

8:30 a.m. -- Chicago Fed national activity index (Oct.)


Italy -- Wage Inflation (Oct.)

Tuesday, Nov. 25

8:30 a.m. -- GDP revision (Q3)

9 a.m. -- Case-Shiller home prices (Sept.)

9 a.m. -- FHFA home prices

10 a.m. -- Consumer confidence index (Nov.)


Japan -- Bank of Japan Governor Kuroda Speech

Wednesday, Nov. 26

8:30 a.m. -- Weekly jobless claims

8:30 a.m. -- Personal income (Oct.)

8:30 a.m. -- Consumer spending (Oct.)

8:30 a.m. -- Core PCE price index (Oct.)

8:30 a.m. -- Durable goods orders (Oct.)

9:45 a.m. -- Chicago PMI (Nov.)

9:55 a.m. -- Consumer sentiment index (Nov.)

10 a.m. -- New home sales (Oct.)

10 a.m. -- Pending home sales (Oct.)


U.K – Preliminary Gross Domestic Product (Q3)

Thursday, Nov. 27

Thanksgiving Day -- No U.S. economic data scheduled.


Japan -- National Consumer Price Index (Oct.)

Germany -- Unemployment Rate (Nov.)

Friday, Nov. 28

Black Friday -- No U.S. economic data scheduled.


Europe -- Preliminary Consumer Price Index (Nov.)

Canada -- Gross Domestic Product (Q3)