Economic Events on July 31, 2012

At 7:45 AM Eastern time, the weekly ICSC-Goldman Store Sales report will be released, giving an update on the health of the consumer through this analysis of retail sales.

At 8:30 AM Eastern time, the Employment Cost Index for the second quarter of 2012 will be announced.  The consensus is an increase of 0.5%.

Also at 8:30 AM Eastern time, the monthly Personal Income and Outlays report for June will be released. The consensus for Personal Income is an increase of 0.4% over the previous month and the consensus Consumer Spending index change is an increase of 0.1%.

At 8:55 AM Eastern time, the weekly Redbook report will be released, giving us more information about consumer spending.

At 9:00 AM Eastern time, the monthly S&P/Case-Shiller home price index report will be released.  Given that most economists don’t expect the overall U.S. economy to improve until housing prices end their decline, the market will be watching this number closely.

At 9:45 AM Eastern time, the Chicago PMI Index for July will be announced. The consensus index value is 52.5, which is 0.4 points lower than last month, but is still above the break-even level at 50.

At 10:00 AM Eastern time, the monthly report on Consumer Confidence for July will be released.  The consensus index level is 61.5, which would be a 0.5 point decrease from last month’s number.

Also at 10:00 AM Eastern time, the State Street Investor Confidence Index will be released, which looks at changes in the amount of equities held in the portfolios of institutional investors.

At 3:00 PM Eastern time, the Farm Prices report for July will be released, giving investors and economists an indication of the direction of food prices in the coming months.

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