This Week: Manufacturing, bank earnings and jobless claims

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

INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION

Analysts expect significant declines in industrial production due to the coronavirus when the Federal Reserve issues March data on Wednesday.

U.S. industrial production rebounded in February after declines in December and January. The economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak was not apparent in the February numbers, but is expected to sink March’s figure as manufacturers shut down production lines to comply with social distancing recommendations by the government and medical experts.

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Industrial production, monthly percent change, seasonally adjusted:

Oct.: -0.4

Nov.: 0.9

Dec.: -0.4

Jan.: -0.5

Feb.: 0.6

March (est.): -4.1

Source: FactSet

BANK EARNINGS

Some major U.S. banks report quarterly earnings on Wednesday.

Bank of America, Citigroup and PNC all report quarterly earnings that include the month of March, when coronavirus fears all but shuttered the U.S. economy. The results may highlight how much banks suffered in the later part of the quarter due to coronavirus, but investors will be more interested to see the banks’ guidance for the rest of 2020. Shares in banks have lost up to one-third of their value in recent weeks.

MASSIVE LAYOFFS

The Labor Department reports on weekly unemployment benefit applications Thursday. It has become the most-watched economic indicator since the coronavirus knocked out the U.S. economy in March, resulting in millions of layoffs.

In the past three weeks, more than 16 million Americans have applied for jobless benefits from the government. Economists believe that number will continue to rise steadily and could result in the unemployment rate hitting 15% or more when the April jobs report is released in early May.

Initial jobless benefit claims, weekly, seasonally adjusted:

Feb. 28: 217,000

March 6: 211,000

March 13: 282,000

March 20: 3,307,000

March 27: 6,648,000

April 4: 6,606,000

Source: FactSet

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