Global Economy Week Ahead: U.S. and Eurozone Unemployment, Fed Minutes

By WSJ Staff Features Dow Jones Newswires

This week, the U.S. and Europe will see key readings on the labor market, while the U.S. also will get data on international trade and minutes from the Federal Reserve's policy meeting in June when the central bank decided to raise short-term interest rates.

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MONDAY: The eurozone's unemployment rate has been falling steadily, if slowly, since the currency area's return to growth four years ago, but the European Central Bank has yet to see the pickup in wages that would reassure policy makers inflation is on the way back to their target. Economists expect that figures released Monday will show the fall in the jobless rate stalled in May at 9.3%, another reminder that the recovery has some way to go before that target is in sight and the central bank withdraws its stimulus measures.

WEDNESDAY: Minutes from the Federal Reserve's June monetary policy meeting will shed more light on the Fed's view of the divergence between the inflation and employment sides of its dual mandate. Fed watchers will assess whether soft inflation readings are increasingly dividing the Fed over the appropriate course for monetary policy. The central bank lifted its benchmark interest rate at the June meeting and penciled in one more rate rise this year.

THURSDAY: The U.S. Commerce Department releases the international trade report for May, and economists will be watching to see how the U.S. dollar's recent weakening may affect the U.S. trade gap. The U.S. trade deficit widened in April as Americans stepped up purchases of foreign goods. Imports grew 0.8% while exports fell 0.3%, perhaps due in part to the strong dollar. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal expect the trade gap to narrow to $46.1 billion in May, from $47.6 billion a month earlier.

FRIDAY: Economists will be watching wage growth figures when the U.S. Labor Department releases the June employment report. Earnings growth has softened in recent months, but some economists view the slowdown as only a temporary setback. U.S. employers added 138,000 jobs in June. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal expect the unemployment rate remained at 4.3%, while U.S. employers added 181,000 jobs in June.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

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July 02, 2017 15:14 ET (19:14 GMT)