Each week, we break down the latest U.S. economic reports, including what the results mean for the overall health of the economy. Here, you will find how economists’ forecasts compare with actual results, key takeaways to consider, as well as a list of what’s on tap for the week ahead.
Reports for the Week of March 6
International trade report, January (Wednesday)
- Expected/prior trade deficit: –$68.7 billion/–$67.2 billion
- Actual trade deficit: –$68.3 billion
The trade deficit widened less than expected in January. Imports fell 3 percent during the month, while exports rose for the first time since August. Despite the widening, the deficit remains well above the record levels we saw in early 2022.
Employment report, February (Friday)
- Expected/prior monthly job growth: 225,000/504,000
- Actual monthly job growth: 311,000
- Expected/prior unemployment rate: 3.4%/3.4%
- Actual unemployment rate: 3.6%
The labor market remained strong in February, and 311,000 jobs were added. Wage growth increased less than expected during the month despite the faster-than-expected hiring, which was a positive sign for the Fed.
Upcoming Reports for the Week of March 13
Consumer Price Index, February (Tuesday)
Headline consumer prices are set to rise in February. On a year-over-year basis, consumer inflation is expected to slow, which would mark eight consecutive months of slowing year-over-year consumer inflation.
Producer Price Index, February (Wednesday)
Both headline and core producer inflation are set to slow in February, with falling energy expected to help ease producer price pressure.
Retail sales, February (Wednesday)
Retail sales are set to increase modestly in February, which would mark two consecutive months of increased spending following declines in November and December.
National Association of Home Builders Housing Market Index, March (Wednesday)
Home builder confidence is set to decline slightly in March after rising more than expected in February.
Housing starts and building permits, February (Thursday)
Housing starts and building permits are both set to increase modestly in February. Despite the projected increase, both measures of new home construction are expected to remain near multiyear lows.
Industrial production, February (Friday)
Industrial production is expected to grow in February due, in part, to an anticipated increase in capacity utilization during the month.
University of Michigan consumer sentiment survey, preliminary estimate, March (Friday)
Consumer confidence is set to remain unchanged to start March, which would tie a one-year high for the index if estimates prove to be accurate.