Last week investors received some positive data the economy grew by 1.7 percent during the spring, up from the previous GDP estimate. Consumer spending rose 4/10ths of 1 percent in July, its biggest increase in five months. Home prices rose nearly 1 percent in June, marking five straight months of gains. In the week ahead, we get a read on consumers with earnings reports from Campbell soup, Dollar General and Kroger, as well as key data on jobs and manufacturing.
Where are the jobs? We’ll find out with the August jobs report. In July the unemployment rate rose slightly to 8.3 percent as 163,000 jobs were created…professional and business services and manufacturing posted some of the biggest gains…African-American unemployment declined to 14. 1 percent, while black teen unemployment dropped to 36.6 percent, but remains the highest of any group.
We’ll get another look at jobs with the August manufacturing report from the institute for supply management. In July production growth was flat from the previous month — posting a 49.8 percent reading as new orders showed weakness. A reading below 50 shows contraction.
We’ll check the pulse of the auto sector with the August auto sales report. In July auto sales were softer than expected as GM posted a 6 percent decline and ford sales fell 4 percent. The companies attributed the losses to continued weakness in the labor market.