Economy Week Ahead: Factories, Trade, Jobs – The Wall Street Journal

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U.S. employment is expected to post another solid gain in April. An employee assisted restaurant customers in New York, April 28.

Photo: Amir Hamja/Bloomberg News

Data out this week are expected to show the U.S. economy fully hitting its stride at the start of the second quarter.

Monday

The Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing index for April is likely to show another month of strong demand for factory goods, tempered by high prices for raw materials and long delivery times as supply-chain snarls hamper industry around the globe.

Tuesday

The U.S. trade deficit in goods and services is expected to widen to a fresh record in March. Preliminary data already show the trade gap for goods at a new high as American demand for foreign-made products surges alongside rising incomes and a reopening economy.

Wednesday

The Institute for Supply Management’s services index for April is likely to reflect more vaccinations, falling Covid-19 cases and efforts to open up segments of the economy—like indoor dining and large-scale entertainment—hard hit by efforts to contain the pandemic.

Thursday

The Bank of England is expected to hold interest rates steady. Economists are watching for upgrades to economic growth and inflation forecasts, as well as a signal on when the central bank could start to slow asset purchases that are meant to keep rates low.

Friday

U.S. employment is expected to post another solid gain in April as businesses hire more workers to meet rising demand for an array of goods and services. Even with another big gain, however, the economy will still have millions fewer jobs than it did before the pandemic. Broad dislocation, generous unemployment benefits and lingering concerns over Covid-19, meanwhile, have kept some Americans out of the labor force and some companies struggling to find enough help.

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Appeared in the May 3, 2021, print edition as ‘Economic Calendar.’

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