The U.S. housing market is in focus during a relatively light week for economic data.
U.S. housing starts are expected to rise in June. Builders have been caught between strong demand from buyers on one side, and rising materials costs and difficulty securing lots and labor on the other. The limited supply of homes coming on the market has contributed to rising housing prices.
The European Central Bank makes its first policy announcement since concluding a strategy review that signaled a greater tolerance for an inflation rate that is above its previous target. Policy makers are expected to leave their stimulus measures unchanged as new Covid-19 infections rise across the eurozone, threatening to slow the currency area’s economic recovery.
U.S. jobless claims fell to a new pandemic low during the first full week of July, another sign the labor market is healing. New claims and benefits payments have trended downward in recent months, reflecting a strengthening economy and decisions by nearly half of all states to end expanded benefits. Economists estimate that claims fell once again during the week ended July 17.
U.S. existing-home sales decreased for a fourth straight month in May as inventories remained tight and prices hit a new high. Sales of previously owned homes are forecast to reverse that trend in June while the economy continues to reopen, mortgage rates remain low and sellers list more homes for sale.
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Appeared in the July 19, 2021, print edition as ‘Economic Calendar.’