This Week: Consumer confidence, Fed meeting, Amazon earns

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

IMPROVING CONFIDENCE

The Conference Board issues its April snapshot of U.S. consumer confidence Tuesday.

The consumer confidence index surged in March to 109.7, the highest reading in a year, as increased COVID-19 vaccinations and more government economic support helped boost optimism that the economy is recovering. Most economists are forecasting strong growth in coming quarters, powered by a surge in consumer confidence and consumer spending, which accounts for 70% of economic activity.

Consumer confidence, by month:

Nov. 92.90

Dec. 87.10

Jan. 88.90

Feb. 90.40

March 109.7

April (est.) 112.0

Source: FactSet

THE FED SPEAKS

The Federal Reserve delivers an economic and interest rate policy update Wednesday following a two-day meeting of its policymakers.

At its March meeting, the central bank’s policy making committee voted unanimously to keep the Fed’s short-term interest rate near zero and continue buying $120 billion in bonds each month to keep longer-term borrowing costs down. The Fed also said it expected to keep its benchmark interest rate pinned near zero through 2023, despite rising concerns in financial markets about potential higher inflation.

ON A ROLL

Wall Street expects another strong quarterly report card from Amazon.com.

Analysts predict the e-commerce giant’s first-quarter earnings and revenue increased sharply from a year earlier. That would follow a blockbuster year of gains for Amazon, which has benefited as consumers stuck at home during the pandemic increasingly relied on online shopping for groceries and other necessities. Amazon serves up its latest quarterly results Thursday.

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