A slew of U.S. Federal Reserve officials are scheduled to deliver speeches next week. Reuters/Mike Blake

The U.S. Federal Reserve’s surprise decision to stand pat on monetary stimulus has left investors with a thousand unanswered questions, which may -- or may not -- be addressed by slew of Fed officials who are scheduled to deliver speeches next week. This Fedspeak will provide ample opportunity for policymakers to explain why they delayed the announcement of a taper in bond purchases at their September meeting and hopefully give some guidance about what financial markets should watch to avoid a repeat of this kind of major miscommunication.

The Fed officials are set to discuss the economic and monetary-policy topics that presumably were on the table during the Federal Open Market Committee meeting that concluded last Wednesday. The FOMC said the U.S. economic data isn’t quite convincing enough to warrant winding down its stimulus efforts, so it now “needs to provide additional clarity on how they will react to news on the labor market, inflation, and financial conditions,” Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s Michael Hanson said in a note.

The data releases scheduled for next week are likely to show consumer spending rose a bit in August, consumer confidence fell a bit in September and new-home sales managed only the slightest of rebounds in August. Investors will also get the final regularly scheduled reading on second-quarter growth in the U.S. gross domestic product.

Markets will probably be paying a lot of attention to developments in Congress. “Unless a deal is agreed to extend the federal government’s spending authority, a partial shutdown will be triggered at the start of October,” said Paul Ashworth, chief U.S. economist at Capital Economics. “Beyond that, Congress also has to raise the debt ceiling, or a shutdown will begin in mid-October when the Treasury runs out of money.”

In Europe, attention will be focused on the outcome of the German federal elections on Sunday and the subsequent coalition negotiations. (See 4 Things To Know About Sunday’s German Election.)

Also in the coming week, the French budget for 2014 will confirm there is significantly more austerity to come, including contentious cuts to welfare spending, according to Capital Economics’ Jennifer McKeown.

On the data front, euro-zone business surveys for September should reveal further improvement, suggesting that a moderate recovery will continue into the third quarter. But monetary data are likely to show that bank lending remained very weak in August.

It will be a relatively quiet week in the U.K. Economists expect Q2 GDP to be unrevised at 0.7 percent and further solid gains in service-sector output and home prices.

There are two data releases of note next week in Japan, centering on its August consumer price index, or CPI, and small business confidence.

Elsewhere, the HSBC Flash China Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index, or PMI, compiled by Markit will provide an early look at the performance of China’s manufacturing sector this month, while Vietnam is due to publish third-quarter GDP figures: However, the fact the data are published before the end of the quarter raises questions about their reliability.

Below are entries on the economic calendar Sept. 23-27. All listed times are EDT.


8:58 a.m. -- Markit Flash U.S. Manufacturing PMI for September.

9:20 a.m. -- Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President Dennis P. Lockhart (a nonvoter on the FOMC this year) speaks on “Drivers of Economic Recovery and Growth” before the Blouin Creative Leadership Summit in New York.

9:30 a.m. -- Federal Reserve Bank of New York President William C. Dudley (a voter on the FOMC) speaks before the Fordham Wall Street Council in New York.

1:30 p.m. -- Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas President Richard W. Fisher (a nonvoter on the FOMC this year) speaks on “Banking Conditions in Texas and the U.S. and Comments on Too Big to Fail” before the Independent Bankers Association of Texas Annual Convention.


Euro zone -- European Central Bank President Mario Draghi speaks before the European Parliament in Brussels.

Euro zone -- September flash manufacturing, services and composite PMIs.

France -- September flash manufacturing and services PMIs.

Germany -- September flash manufacturing and services PMIs.


9 a.m. -- Economists expect the S&P Case-Shiller home price index to rise 0.8 percent month-on-month in July, a bit softer than the increases observed in recent months, leaving the index up 12.3 percent from a year ago. The 20-city index has posted gains in every month since February of last year, and economists look for this momentum to continue.

9 a.m. -- Federal Housing Finance Agency home price index for July.

10 a.m. -- Consumer confidence is expected to fall to 79.8 in September from 81.5 in August, mirroring the decline in the preliminary release of the closely correlated University of Michigan consumer-sentiment index. Gasoline prices have begun to rise, mortgage rates have also continued to inch higher, and economic data since August have been mixed.

10 a.m. -- Richmond Fed manufacturing index for September.


Euro zone -- ECB Vice President Vitor Constancio speaks at the presentation of the German Bernacer prize for promoting economic research in Madrid.

Euro zone -- ECB Executive Board Member Benoit Coeure speaks before the Bank of Finland.

Euro zone -- ECB Executive Board Member Yves Mersch speaks at the annual general meeting of the Austrian Bank Scientific Society in Vienna.

Spain -- Budget, year-to-date.

Vietnam -- September CPI.

Netherlands -- Final Q2 GDP.

Germany -- September IFO business-sentiment index.


7 a.m. -- The Mortgage Bankers Association’s, or MBA’s, Mortgage Index for the week ending Sept. 20.

8:30 a.m. -- Following a sharp 7.4 percent, drop in durable-goods orders in July, economists are forecasting only a modest increase of 0.2 percent in August. A rebound in core orders is likely to be partly offset by a decline in the aircraft component. The Boeing Co. (NYSE:BA) reported orders for only 16 aircraft last month, down from 90 in July and 287 in June.

10 a.m. -- The sharp 13.4 percent month-on-month drop in new-home sales in July reflected the impact of the steady rise in mortgage interest rates over the past four months. Sales are unlikely to have made much of a comeback in August. Economists expect new-home sales to increase 6.6 percent month-on-month to 420,000 in August.


France -- Government presents 2014 budget.

Australia -- Reserve Bank of Australia Financial Stability Review.

U.K. -- Bank of England Financial Policy Committee statement on September meeting.

Euro zone -- ECB Executive Board Member Joerg Asmussen speaks at the Commerzbank Conference in Frankfurt.

Thailand -- August customs exports.

Germany -- October GfK consumer confidence.


8:30 a.m. -- Economists expect initial jobless claims to climb to 325,000 for the week ending Sept. 21 from 309,000 in the prior week.

8:30 a.m. -- Data releases since the second estimate of Q2 GDP do not suggest a significant revision from the reported 2.5 percent. The consensus estimate stands at 2.6 percent for the final regularly scheduled reading of Q2 GDP. The core personal-consumption-expenditure deflator is expected to remain at 0.8 percent.

10 a.m. -- Pending home sales are forecast to decline by 0.7 percent month-on-month in August. Sales have fallen for two consecutive months following a strong 5.8 percent month-on-month jolt in May.

10:10 a.m. -- Federal Reserve Board Gov. Jeremy C. Stein (a voter on the FOMC) participates in a “Yield-Oriented Investors and the Monetary Transmission Mechanism” panel before the Symposium Honoring Raghuram G. Rajan: Banking, Liquidity, and Monetary Policy in Germany. Note: Watch live webcast by clicking here.

12:15 p.m. -- Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis President Narayana Kocherlakota (a nonvoter on the FOMC this year) speaks on “Monetary Policy Strategy” before the Rotary Club of Houghton Rotary in Michigan.

9:15 p.m. -- Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City President Esther L. George (a voter on the FOMC this year) speaks on the U.S. economy before the Kansas City Fed’s Colorado Economic Forum in Denver.


Euro zone -- ECB Executive Board Member Asmussen speaks at a forum organized by the American Chambers of Commerce in Berlin.

Euro zone -- ECB Executive Board Member Mersch speaks at the annual European Supervisor Education conference in Frankfurt.

Euro zone -- ECB Vice President Vitor Constancio speaks on liquidity and monetary policy in Frankfurt.

Euro zone -- ECB Executive Board Member Coeure speaks at a meeting of the Money Marketeers of New York University in New York.

Singapore -- August industrial production.

U.K. -- Q2 GDP final release.

Japan -- August nationwide CPI.


5:45 a.m. -- Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President Charles L. Evans (a voter on the FOMC this year) speaks before the Norges Bank’s “The Role of Monetary Policy Revisited” conference in Norway.

8:30 a.m. -- Federal Reserve Bank of Boston President Eric S. Rosengren (a voter on the FOMC this year) gives opening remarks before the New York Fed’s Conference on Stable Funding.

8:30 a.m. -- Economists forecast personal income to rise by 0.4 percent month-on-month in August and personal spending to rise 0.3 percent. The core PCE deflator probably rose 0.1 percent last month, similar to CPI growth.

9:55 a.m. -- The University of Michigan survey of consumer sentiment will likely show a final reading of 78.0 in September, compared with a print of 76.8 in the preliminary survey.

10:15 a.m. -- Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President Evans participates in panel before the Norges Bank’s “The Role of Monetary Policy Revisited” conference in Norway.

2 p.m. -- Federal Reserve Bank of New York President Dudley speaks on the economy before the Syracuse University Whitman School of Management in Syracuse, N.Y.


Euro zone -- ECB President Draghi speaks at Bocconi University in Milan, Italy.

Germany -- Preliminary September CPI, harmonized index of consumer prices.

Thailand -- August manufacturing production.

France -- Final Q2 GDP.

Euro zone -- Final consumer confidence for September.

Sources: Central banks, European Commission, Reuters, Market News, Capital Economics, Barclays, Bank of America Merrill Lynch.