WASHINGTON — Last week’s weak jobs report heightened concerns that a recovery, which once seemed strong, could be waning. The economy added 69,000 jobs in May, significantly fewer than the 150,000 that analysts had expected.
New data this week on jobless claims could offer a stronger sense of how the American employment market is faring. The release of the Federal Reserve’s “beige book” could provide additional information on how the nation’s regional economies are performing.
Presentations by Federal Reserve bank officials, meanwhile, could give some insight into the current economic situation. Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Richard Fisher speaks Tuesday on “The Limits of the Powers of Central Banks.” Atlanta Federal Reserve President Dennis Lockhart speaks Wednesday in Florida and Thursday in Georgia.
On Monday, the Commerce Department releases data on factory orders made in April. The number gives a sense of how busy factories will be in coming months, by gauging the durable goods they have ordered.
Analysts expect to see that factory orders increased just slightly in April, by 0.1 percent. That would be less than the 1.5 percent uptick that orders for factory good experienced in March.
On Wednesday, the Fed publishes the latest edition of the beige book. The report, which comes out eight times each year, collects anecdotal information from the 12 district banks to get a sense of trends and developments in regional economies.
The last edition, published on April 11, saw “modest to moderate” economic growth.
After last week’s poor jobs numbers, fresh data on new jobless claims on Thursday will likely draw close attention. The number has crept up recently, with newly filed unemployment claims hitting a one-month high of 383,000 in data released last week.
The new jobless claims data, to be released at 8:30 a.m. by the Labor Department, are predicted to be a slight improvement. Economic analysts expect to see 380,000 new jobless claims filed.