By WSJ Staff
In the week ahead, the U.S. Commerce Department publishes data on durable-goods orders in December, fourth-quarter gross domestic product and December inflation. The Federal Reserve and the Bank of England release policy statements.
The U.S. Commerce Department releases December durable-goods orders. Orders for durable goods -- products designed to last at least three years -- decreased a seasonally adjusted 2% in November from the previous month, offering a mixed picture for the manufacturing sector. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal forecast durable goods orders grew 0.2% in December.
The Federal Reserve releases its policy statement. Fed officials have signaled that there is a high bar to be cleared before they change rates this year. And because little has changed in the economic outlook since they last met in mid-December, few changes are likely in their postmeeting statement due Wednesday afternoon. Likewise, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell isn't expected to signal any major shift in the central bank's policy path at his press conference.
The Bank of England issues a decision on whether to move its interest rate. Some investors think the Bank of England will cut its key interest rate for the first time since August 2016. The likelihood of such a move declined with the release this past Friday of a purchasing managers survey that pointed to a rebound in growth during January after a weak 2019. Some policy makers have voted for a cut at recent meetings, but it is unclear whether a majority of the nine rate setters share the view that an insurance move is needed amid continued uncertainty about the U.K.'s future relationship with the European Union.
The U.S. Commerce Department releases its first estimate of fourth-quarter gross domestic product. In the third quarter, U.S. GDP grew at a 2.1% annual rate. Solid consumer spending helped drive third-quarter growth, though business investment was weak. Economists will watch to see whether capital spending remained sluggish in the final months of the year. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal expect GDP grew at a 2.1% annual rate in the fourth quarter.
The U.S. Commerce Department releases December personal income, spending and inflation data. Inflation has remained below the Federal Reserve's 2% target, despite a historically low unemployment rate and tariffs. Economists will eye this report for signs that the Fed's preferred inflation gauge, the price index for personal-consumption expenditures, is gaining upward momentum. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal expect core PCE inflation to be up 1.6% in December from a year earlier.
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
January 26, 2020 15:14 ET (20:14 GMT)
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