Economy Week Ahead: Exports, Inflation and Unemployment  <font color="#6f6f6f">The Wall Street Journal</font>

In the U.S., prices have picked up for some goods and services as the economy reopens.

Photo: mario anzuoni/Reuters

Inflation is in focus during a relatively light week for economic data. August consumer prices for China are out Wednesday and for the U.S on Friday.


China’s August exports likely rose 7.3% from a year earlier thanks to the sustained global recovery and last year’s low base, according to a Wall Street Journal poll. That would extend July’s surprisingly strong 7.2% growth. The contraction in imports likely narrowed to 0.2% in August from 1.4% in July, as domestic demand continued to recover. August’s trade surplus is expected to narrow to $51.85 billion from $62.33 billion in July.


Japan’s second-quarter gross domestic product is expected to be revised down from the initial estimate of a 7.8% contraction from the prior quarter, reflecting weaker capital expenditure plans. A separate release on household spending for July is forecast to show a 3.7% decline, following June’s 1.2% drop, underscoring broad economic weakness at the start of the third quarter.


China’s consumer prices are forecast to rise 2.5% in August from the same period a year earlier. The average food price might edge up due to the flood disruptions in the southern part of China, while nonfood prices likely stayed stable with continued economic normalization. The deflation of August’s on-year producer-price index is likely to narrow to 2.0% from 2.4% in July thanks to an uptick in commodity prices.


The European Central Bank is expected to leave its policies unchanged, but its officials may signal that a further expansion of its bond purchase program is likely amid signs the eurozone’s economic recovery is faltering, while a stronger euro threatens to press down on consumer prices that were already falling in August.

U.S.  jobless claims are expected to edge lower again in the week ended Sept. 5, more evidence the labor market is slowly healing. Even with another drop, however, the proxy for layoffs would remain well above levels seen during any previous recession, underscoring the severe dislocation from the new coronavirus and efforts to contain it.


U.S. consumer prices are expected to rise for the third consecutive month in August, though at a slower pace than June and July. Prices have picked up for some goods and services as the economy reopens, though overall inflation pressure has been muted and is expected to remain so in the coming months.

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