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Economy Week Ahead : Factories, Trade and Jobs

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08/02/2020 | 03:15pm EDT

By WSJ staff

The U.S. jobs report for July caps a full week of data that should shed light on the global pace of recovery from a sharp, severe recession caused by responses to the new coronavirus.

Monday

China's Caixin manufacturing index, a private gauge of factory activity tilted toward small and private companies, is expected to show another month of expansion in July. An official gauge last week beat expectations, signaling the country's economic recovery remained on track.

Japan releases a second revision for January-to-March gross domestic product. Earlier data showed the economy contracted at an annualized 2.2% pace. Economists expect downward revisions, reflecting weaker-than-expected capital expenditures.

The Institute for Supply Management releases its U.S. manufacturing index for July. Factory activity is expected to improve for the third straight month as manufacturers rebound from shutdowns and supply-chain disruptions.

Thursday

The Bank of England is due to announce its latest policy decision alongside updated forecasts for the U.K. economy. Economists expect the BOE to keep policy on hold after cutting its benchmark rate to a new low in March and stepping up its bond-buying programs to cope with the fallout from Covid-19.

U.S. jobless claims rose for two straight weeks in July. Figures for the week ended Aug. 1 will be scrutinized to see if the labor market is signaling another rise in layoffs while Covid-19 cases remain elevated.

Friday

China's customs bureau releases trade data for July. Import and export figures will be closely watched as a gauge of Chinese demand for foreign goods and the rest of the world's demand for Chinese products.

Japan's household spending for June is expected to have declined 8%, according to a survey by data provider Quick, compared with a decrease of 16.2% in May. Shops and restaurants slowly reopened after Japan lifted a nationwide state of emergency in late May.

U.S. employers are expected to add jobs for the third straight month. Two potential problems: Recent gains won't be nearly enough to recoup losses in March and April, and the pace of job creation -- though elevated by historical standards -- appears to be slowing as the recovery loses some steam.

 

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