This Week: New home sales, Apple earns, consumer spending

A look at some of the key business events and economic indicators upcoming this week:

HOUSING MARKET BELLWETHER

The Commerce Department issues its March tally of new U.S. home sales Tuesday.

Economists forecast that sales slowed last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 760,000 homes. That would follow February’s pace of 772,000 homes. Demand for newly built homes has been robust, aided by an ultra-low supply of previously occupied homes on the market. But rising interest rates and home prices are increasingly pushing the limits of affordability for would-be buyers.

New home sales, seasonally adjusted annual rate, by month:

Oct. 667,000

Nov. 753,000

Dec. 860,000

Jan. 788,000

Feb. 772,000

March (est.) 760,000

Source: FactSet

SPOTLIGHT ON APPLE

Wall Street expects another stellar quarterly report card from Apple.

Analysts predict the company’s earnings and revenue increased in the January-March quarter versus a year earlier. That would echo the company’s results in the final quarter of 2021, thanks to strong holiday season demand for its iPhones and other popular devices. The company shook off the supply shortages that had curtailed production of its devices earlier in 2021. Apple reports its fiscal second-quarter results Thursday.

EYE ON CONSUMERS

The Commerce Department serves up its March snapshot of consumer spending Friday.

The report is closely monitored by the Federal Reserve as a barometer of inflation. The central bank has begun raising interest rates and is expected to continue doing so in coming months in a bid to fight surging inflation, which is beginning to dampen consumer spending. Squeezed by rising prices, consumers increased their spending by just 0.2% in February, down from a much larger 2.7% gain in January.

Consumer spending, monthly percent change, seasonally adjusted:

Sept. 0.6

Oct. 1.4

Nov. 0.5

Dec. -0.9

Jan. 2.7

Feb. 0.2

Source: FactSet

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