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Economy Week Ahead: China GDP, U.S. Housing and Jobless Claims

By WSJ Staff 

China's gross domestic product and U.S. housing highlight a relatively quiet week for economic data.


Retail sales, export and other economic data show China is shaking off the effects of the coronavirus. Gross domestic product figures are likely to underscore the rebound. Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal expect third-quarter GDP to rise 5.3% from a year earlier. That would be up from 3.2% growth a quarter earlier and approaching the 6.1% rate for all of 2019.


U.S. housing starts are likely to resume their upward trajectory in September after an unexpected decline in August. The housing market has been an economic bright spot as the country tries to recover from spring coronavirus lockdowns, helping to support consumer spending and construction employment.


U.S. jobless claims have held at stubbornly high levels in recent weeks, underscoring continued layoffs and economic dislocation even as the labor market heals from spring lockdowns. Figures for the week ended Oct. 17 are expected to show a small decline in applications for unemployment benefits from a week earlier -- but still leave them well above the pre-pandemic record of 695,000.

U.S. existing home sales are expected to rise in September for a fourth straight month, fueled by demand for more space and by rock-bottom mortgage rates. The housing market has been one of the economy's hottest sectors in recent months, pushing prices to new highs and sales to their fastest pace since 2006.


Surveys of purchasing managers are expected to indicate that the eurozone's economic recovery stalled in October as governments imposed fresh restrictions to contain a resurgence in new coronavirus infections. Similar surveys are expected to indicate that the U.S. economy is continuing to grow, albeit at a slower pace.


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 18, 2020 15:14 ET (19:14 GMT)

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