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Business week ahead: Housing construction, unemployment claims, ECB

US home builders have been caught between strong buyer demand and higher material costs, as well as difficulties in obtaining land and labor.


Photo:

Mike Blake / Reuters

By
WSJ employee

July 18, 2021 3:00 p.m. ET

The US housing market is the focus of economic data during a relatively light week.

TUESDAY

Housing starts in the US are expected to rise in June. Builders were caught between strong demand from buyers on the one hand and rising material costs and difficulties in obtaining land and labor on the other. The limited supply of apartments that are coming on the market has contributed to soaring property prices.

THURSDAY

The European Central Bank is making its first political announcement since completing a policy review signaling greater tolerance for inflation above its previous target. Policymakers are expected to leave their stimulus measures unchanged as new Covid-19 infections rise in the euro area and threaten to slow the currency area’s economic recovery.

Real-time economy

The latest business news, analysis and data curated by Jeffrey Sparshott of the WSJ.

US jobless claims fell to a new pandemic low in the first full week of July, another sign that the labor market is recovering. New applications and benefit payments have tended to decline in recent months, reflecting a strengthening of the economy and decisions by almost half of all states to abolish the extended benefits. Economists estimate that claims fell again in the week ending July 17th.

US existing home sales declined for the fourth straight month in May as inventory remained tight and prices hit new highs. Condominium sales are forecast to reverse this trend in June as the economy reopens, mortgage rates remain low, and sellers have more homes for sale.

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