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Four Key Economic Reports to Watch

These economic indicators will provide economic guidance


Looking ahead, there are four key government and private sector reports I’ll be keeping an eye on over the next few days that may move the markets along with the ongoing news from Europe.

Here they are:

Thursday (June 7)

Initial Claims for Unemployment

The Labor Department produces this report that details initial jobless applications. The report provides an indicator of the direction of the economy, with increases or decreases in claims that signal slowing or accelerating job growth.

Consumer Credit

The Federal Reserve will release this monthly measure of consumer debt for April. Consumer credit is broken down into three categories: auto, revolving (credit card) and other debt. Periods of strong spending can be accompanied by relatively weak credit growth and vice versa.

Balance of Trade Report

The Commerce Department will release its monthly measure of trade for April. The report is watched for trends in the overall trade balance. The report also indicates trends in both exports and imports of goods and services. The export data in particular are important to watch for indications that a strengthening competitive position at home and/or strengthening economies overseas are boosting U.S. growth. This report also plays an important role in Gross Domestic Product forecasts.

Wholesale Inventories

The Commerce Department will release its wholesale trade report that includes sales and inventory statistics from the second stage of the manufacturing process. Wholesale inventories sometimes swing enough to affect the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) outlook.

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