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Week ahead: Federal Reserve committee meets

By Sonja Ryst

A Federal Reserve meeting and reports this week on prices and consumer sentiment should provide new hints for those scrutinizing the state of the U.S. economic recovery.

Tuesday

The Fed's Federal Open Market Committee plans to meet, in what some expect to be the most important economic calendar event of the week. The members are slated to review economic and financial conditions, determine the appropriate stance of monetary policy and assess the risks to price stability and sustainable economic growth. Analysts expect little change in the rate that banks use to borrow from one another overnight, which in turn affects the ease with which people can take on debt and spend.

Also, the Bureau of Labor Statistics releases information about U.S. productivity and labor costs during April, May and June.

Wednesday

The Commerce Department is scheduled to offer estimates on the country's international trade balance for June, and the Treasury plans a statement about its budget for July.

Thursday

The Bureau of Labor Statistics plans to announce its July import and export price indexes. The dollar was weaker last month, which makes it more expensive to buy imports such as oil.

Also look for news on the week's initial jobless claims. They had risen unexpectedly by 19,000 in the last week of July to 479,000, their highest level since April. Economists say that the job market is key for the country's economic recovery.

Friday

The consumer price index will interest those worried about the threat of deflation, and news will hit about advance monthly sales for retail trade and food services in July.

By Sonja Ryst  |  August 9, 2010; 8:07 AM ET
Categories:  Federal Reserve  
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