Aug 28, 2023 - Economy

What to watch this week in economic data

Illustration of a hundred-dollar bill in the shape of a manila folder.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

With central bankers' annual gathering behind us, attention now turns to a slew of data out this week giving more clues about whether the economy is evolving the way central bankers would like.

What's happening: We'll get July's Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) on Tuesday. Any further easing in the number of job openings may offer relief that the labor market is easing into better balance.

  • There's also a GDP revision due out Wednesday. The release will include the first estimate of an alternate measure of growth in the second quarter, Gross Domestic Income. The two yardsticks have diverged in recent quarters.
  • On Thursday, the Fed's preferred measure of inflation, the Personal Consumption Expenditures Index, is expected to show another cooler inflation reading for July (as Powell previewed in his Jackson Hole speech).

The main event comes Friday with the release of the government jobs report; consensus estimates see the economy adding 170,000 jobs in August.

  • If forecasts are correct, the gradual labor market cooldown continued last month — with the slowest pace of jobs growth all year. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate is expected to hold at 3.5%, near the lowest level in more than a half-century.

What to watch: Look for possible disruptions from the ongoing Hollywood writers strike.

  • UBS economists anticipate "a decline in employment in motion picture and video production, broadcasting and content providers," with new striking workers expected to shave roughly 18,000 off the monthly change in employment.
Go deeper