This Week: Home prices, wholesale stockpiles, jobless claims

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

TRACKING HOME PRICES

Low mortgage rates, strong demand and a low supply of available properties are driving U.S. home prices sharply higher.

S&P’s CoreLogic Case-Shiller home price index, which tracks the values of homes in 20 major U.S. metropolitan areas, jumped 19.1% in September from a year earlier, with all the cities setting record highs. Economists project that October’s reading, which is due out Tuesday, will show an 18.5% increase in home prices from a year earlier.

S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller home price index, annual percent change, by month:

May 17.3

June 19.2

July 20.0

Aug. 19.7

Sept. 19.1

Oct. (est.) 18.5

Source: FactSet

ECONOMIC BELLWETHER

The Commerce Department reports its November snapshot of U.S. wholesale inventories Wednesday.

Economists expect that stockpiles held by wholesale businesses increased by 2.3% in November from the previous month. That would match the record increase in October. Wholesale companies have been increasing their stockpiles steadily since August 2020 as consumer demand grown with the reopening of the economy.

Wholesale inventories, monthly percent change, seasonally adjusted:

June 1.2

July 0.6

Aug. 1.3

Sept. 1.4

Oct. 2.3

Nov. (est.) 2.3

Source: FactSet

EYE ON UNEMPLOYMENT

The Labor Department issues its weekly tally of applications for unemployment benefits Thursday.

The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits has hovered near historically low levels in recent weeks, reflecting the job market’s strong recovery from the coronavirus recession last year. Jobless claims held steady at 205,000 for the week that ended Dec. 17. Applications for jobless aid have fallen steadily from about 900,000 in January.

Initial jobless benefit claims, weekly, seasonally adjusted:

Nov. 12: 270,000

Nov. 19: 194,000

Nov. 26: 227,000

Dec. 3: 188,000

Dec. 10: 205,000

Dec. 17: 205,000

Source: FactSet

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