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 April 17
National Association of Home Builders Housing Market Index, April (Monday)
- Expected/prior month sentiment: 45/44
- Actual sentiment: 45
Home builder sentiment increased modestly in April, marking four consecutive months of rising home builder confidence. Despite the improvement, the index ended the month in contractionary territory, signaling continued challenges for home builders.
Housing starts and building permits, March (Tuesday)
- Expected/prior month housing starts monthly change: –3.5%/+7.3%
- Actual housing starts monthly change: –0.8%
- Expected/prior month building permits monthly change: –6.5%/+15.8%
- Actual building permits monthly change: –8.8%
Housing starts and building permits both fell in March after surging in February. The pace of new home construction remains well below the level we saw in late 2021 and early 2022, as construction surged to meet high levels of prospective home buyer demand.
Existing home sales, March (Thursday)
- Expected/prior month existing home sales monthly change: –1.8%/+13.8%
- Actual existing home sales monthly change: –2.4%
The pace of existing home sales slowed more than expected in March. The annualized sales rate ended the month at 4.44 million, well below the pre-pandemic levels and the pandemic-era peak of 6.56 million we saw in late 2020 and early 2021.
Upcoming Reports for the Week of April 24
Conference Board Consumer Confidence, April (Tuesday)
Economist forecasts call for slightly lower consumer confidence in April, with the index set to fall from 104.2 in March to 104.1 in April.
Durable goods orders, March, preliminary (Wednesday)
Headline durables goods orders are set to rise in March, but core orders are expected to fall during the month. If estimates hold, the drop in core orders would signal slowing business investment for the second straight month.
First-quarter GDP growth, advance estimate (Thursday)
GDP growth in the first quarter is expected to show a solid 2 percent annualized growth rate to start the year. Annualized personal consumption growth is set to increase from 1 percent at the end of last year to 4 percent to start 2023.
Personal income and personal spending, March (Friday)
The March personal income and spending reports are set to show mixed results, as income is set to rise while spending is expected to decline modestly.