By WSJ staff
Data out this week is likely to underscore an emerging theme of the coronavirus recovery: The economy is getting better, but the pace of improvement is slowing and the longer-term outlook remains uncertain.
The U.S. housing market has been a bright spot this summer, with July existing-home sales surging to the highest level since the waning days of the housing bubble in 2006. Figures for August are expected to show another gain -- though smaller than June or July's -- as Americans take advantage of low mortgage rates while continuing to seek out more living space.
Surveys of purchasing managers in the U.S., Europe and Japan are expected to show that the pace of the economic recovery steadied in September, after strong rebounds in previous months.
U.S. weekly jobless claims have remained elevated in recent weeks, showing that layoffs remain historically high and suggesting the labor market is losing some momentum as the summer winds down. Figures for the week ended Sept. 19 are expected to tick down slightly from a week earlier.
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin appear before the Senate Banking Committee to present a quarterly report to Congress on the Cares Act. The White House favors another round of stimulus spending and Mr. Powell has urged lawmakers to pump more fiscal aid into the economy, but Democrats and Republicans have been at loggerheads on the size and scope of any new relief bill.
U.S. manufacturers have staged a partial rebound from shutdowns and supply-chain disruptions related to the pandemic. That is expected to continue in August, with new orders for durable goods -- products designed to last at least three years -- likely posting their fourth consecutive monthly gain. But economists are forecasting a slowdown in the pace of improvement in overall demand and underlying business investment amid uncertainty about the path of Covid-19.