This Week: Consumer confidence, jobless claims, jobs report

A look at some of the key business events and economic indicators upcoming this week:

WANING CONFIDENCE

The Conference Board issues its latest monthly reading on U.S. consumer confidence Tuesday.

February’s reading climbed to 130.7, the highest since August. That survey was conducted too early in the month to get a good read on how the coronavirus outbreak was effecting consumer sentiment as it escalated beyond China. Economists expect that the March reading fell to 118.0. A reading of 90 or better reflects a healthy economy.

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Consumer confidence, by month:

Oct. 126.1

Nov. 126.8

Dec. 128.2

Jan. 130.4

Feb. 130.7

March (est.) 118.0

Source: FactSet

LABOR MARKET BAROMETER

The number of Americans applying for unemployment aid is rising sharply as businesses shutter due to the coronavirus.

A record-shattering 3.3 million Americans applied for unemployment aid in the week that ended March 20. Economists expects the next weekly tally of applications for unemployment benefits will also be sharply higher, reflecting broad layoffs as businesses cope with the economic fallout of the outbreak. The Labor Department delivers its latest weekly figures for unemployment aid applications Thursday.

Initial jobless benefit claims, weekly, seasonally adjusted:

Feb. 14: 215,000

Feb. 21: 220,000

Feb. 28: 217,000

March 6: 211,000

March 13: 282,000

March 20: 3,283,000

Source: FactSet

CORONAVIRUS IMPACT

Economists predict the U.S. economy lost jobs in March for the first time in a decade as businesses closed doors in hopes of slowing the coronavirus outbreak.

Wall Street forecasts the U.S. lost 150,000 jobs in March. As the virus spreads governments around the world have mandated people stay home and nonessential businesses to close in a bid to slow the pandemic. The Labor Department reports its jobs data Friday.

Nonfarm payrolls, monthly change, seasonally adjusted:

Oct. 185,000

Nov. 261,000

Dec. 184,000

Jan. 273,000

Feb. 273,000

March (est.) -150,000

Source: FactSet

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