Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Thursday: Existing Home Sales, Unemployment Claims and More

by Bill McBride on 5/20/2015 07:27:00 PM

From Jon Hilsenrath at the WSJ: Fed Looks Past June for First Rate Hike

Federal Reserve officials at their April policy meeting said in the most explicit terms yet that they are unlikely to start raising short-term interest rates in June, as seemed possible when 2015 began.

Officials have been saying they won’t begin lifting their benchmark federal funds rate from near zero until they see more improvement in the labor market and are confident inflation will rise toward their 2% target. Several of them started the year thinking they might reach that point by midyear.

But by last month, after watching the economy stumble through the winter, many at the April 28-29 meeting were doubtful those criteria for a rate increase would be met, according to minutes of the meeting released Wednesday.
Thursday:
• At 8:30 AM ET, the initial weekly unemployment claims report will be released. The consensus is for claims to increase to 270 thousand from 264 thousand.

• Also at 8:30 AM, the Chicago Fed National Activity Index for April. This is a composite index of other data.

• At 10:00 AM, the Philly Fed manufacturing survey for May. The consensus is for a reading of 8.0, up from 7.5 last month (above zero indicates expansion).

• At 10:00 AM, Existing Home Sales for April from the National Association of Realtors (NAR). The consensus is for sales of 5.22 million on seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) basis. Sales in March were at a 5.19 million SAAR. Economist Tom Lawler estimates the NAR will report sales of 5.20 million SAAR.

• At 11:00 AM, the Kansas City Fed manufacturing survey for May.

• At 1:30 PM, Speech by Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer, Past, Present, and Future Challenges for the Euro Area, At the ECB Forum on Central Banking, Linho Sintra, Portugal