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Global Economy Week Ahead: Fed and Bank of Japan Meetings, Eurozone PMI

17 Sep 2017 7:00 pm
By WSJ Staff 

Central banks will be in the spotlight this week, with the Federal Reserve and Bank of Japan releasing policy statements. The U.S. also will see existing-home sales data and jobless claims figures that could reflect hurricane damage.

WEDNESDAY: The National Association of Realtors releases August data on existing-home sales, after July sales of previously owned homes fell to their weakest level this year. July's figures reflected a shortage of homes for sale weighing more heavily on the market, as sales declined 1.3% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.44 million. The August figures will provide the latest snapshot of a housing market characterized by tight inventory and solid demand. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal expect existing-home sales rose 0.4% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.46 million in August.

The Federal Reserve releases a policy statement at 2 p.m. EDT at the conclusion of a two-day meeting, followed by a press conference. The central bank has offered signals it plans to announce the launch of its balance-sheet runoff, and Fed communications will be scrutinized for any clues regarding another rate increase this year. The Fed on Wednesday also releases economic projections, including for 2020 for the first time.

THURSDAY: The Bank of Japan releases a policy statement, with many analysts expecting a steady policy path. In the three months through June, Japan's economy grew an annualized 4%, lengthening its most recent stretch of growth under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to six quarters.

In the week ended Sept. 9, the number of Americans applying for new unemployment benefits fell, but remained sharply higher than two weeks earlier because of Hurricane Harvey's effects. Some economists expect jobless claims to remain elevated when the Labor Department releases the latest weekly figures, with the impact of Hurricane Irma leaking through in Thursday's data. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal expect 295,000 new claims were filed in the week ended Sept. 16, compared with 284,000 a week earlier.

FRIDAY: IHS Markit releases its preliminary September composite Purchasing Managers Index for the eurozone, a measure of activity in the manufacturing and services sectors. It is forecast to rise a little, leaving the average for the third quarter on par with that for the three months through June. That would signal a continuation of the momentum seen in the first six months of the year and help cement market expectations that the European Central Bank will start to reduce its purchases of government bonds in early 2018.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

September 17, 2017 15:00 ET (19:00 GMT)

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