Pending home sales, CarMax earns, consumer spending

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

HOUSING MARKET BAROMETER

Economists expect that contract signings on U.S. homes slowed in August for the third straight month.

They project the National Association of Realtors’ pending home sales index, due out Wednesday, will show a 0.1% drop from July. Contract signings are a barometer of future home purchases. A lag of a month or two usually exists between a contract and a completed sale.

Pending home sales index, monthly percent change:

March 1.7

April -4.4

May 8.3

June -2.0

July -1.8

Aug. (est.) -0.1

Source: FactSet

HOT WHEELS

Wall Street expects another solid quarterly report card from CarMax.

The used car dealership has benefited as strong demand pushes up prices for previously owned vehicles. The company posted sharply higher profits for the first quarter that ended in May as revenue jumped twofold due to an increase in the number of vehicles sold and higher average prices. CarMax reports its fiscal second-quarter results Thursday.

EYE ON CONSUMERS

The Commerce Department delivers its August snapshot of consumer spending Friday.

Consumer spending has moderated since a 5.2% surge in March. Monthly increases in spending since then haven’t topped 1.1%. Spending rose only 0.3% in July as infections from the delta variant of COVID-19 spread and inflation accelerated to its fastest annual pace in three decades. Americans account for 70% of economic activity, so the more they spend, the more the economy grows.

Consumer spending, monthly percent change, seasonally adjusted:

Feb. -1.1

March 5.2

April 1.0

May 0.1

June 1.1

July 0.3

Source: FactSet

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