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General Mills earns, home construction, leading indicators

September 17, 2018

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

BOWLED OVER?

Cereal aisle mainstay General Mills serves up its latest quarterly results Tuesday.

Financial analysts predict the company’s fiscal first-quarter earnings declined from a year earlier, even as revenue climbed. In June, the maker of Cheerios cereal, Yoplait yogurt and other packaged foods provided an upbeat outlook for its current fiscal year.

HOME CONSTRUCTION

Solid job growth and a dearth of existing homes for sale have fueled demand for newly built homes.

The pace of housing starts has slowed of late, though, with rising lumber, land and labor costs weighing on homebuilders. Housing starts edged up 0.9 percent in July, not nearly enough to reverse a 12.9 percent plunge in June. The Commerce Department issues its August tally of newly begun residential construction projects Wednesday.

Housing starts, monthly, seasonally adjusted annual rate:

March 1,327,000

April 1,276,000

May 1,329,000

June 1,158,000

July 1,168,000

Aug. (est.) 1,240,000

Source: FactSet

ECONOMIC BAROMETER

An indicator of the U.S. economy’s future health has been improving this summer.

After posting a gain of 0.1 percent in May, the Conference Board’s index of leading indicators climbed 0.6 percent in June and July. The index, which is derived from data that for the most part have already been reported individually, is designed to anticipate economic conditions three to six months out. August’s reading is due on Thursday.

Leading indicators, monthly percent change, seasonally adjusted:

March 0.3

April 0.5

May 0.1

June 0.6

July 0.6

Aug. (est.) 0.5

Source: FactSet

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