AP NEWS

This Week: New home sales, Kroger results, nonfarm payrolls

March 4, 2019

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

HOUSING BELLWETHER

New U.S. home sales carved an uneven path from one month to the next in the second half of 2018.

They soared in November, defying higher mortgage rates, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 657,000. That followed a steep drop in October. Economists expect sales entered another skid in December, sliding to 575,000. The Commerce department issues its latest new-home sales data Tuesday.

New home sales, seasonally adjusted annual rate, by month:

July 606,000

Aug. 601,000

Sept. 613,000

Oct. 562,000

Nov. 657,000

Dec. (est.) 575,000

Source: FactSet

DOWNBEAT FINISH?

Kroger serves up its fiscal fourth-quarter results Thursday.

Financial analysts project that the supermarket operator’s earnings and revenue declined in the November-January quarter versus a year earlier. Kroger’s earnings grew in the previous three quarters. The company has been expanding online shopping options to compete with Amazon.com and other rivals.

ALL ABOUT JOBS

Economists predict hiring in the U.S. slumped in February after surging the previous month.

They expect the Labor Department will report Friday that nonfarm employers added 167,500 jobs in February. That would be a steep drop from the 304,000 jobs the economy added in January. The U.S. has added jobs for 100 straight months, the longest such period on record.

Nonfarm payrolls, monthly change, seasonally adjusted:

Sept. 108,000

Oct. 277,000

Nov. 196,000

Dec. 222,000

Jan. 304,000

Feb. (est.) 167,500

Source: FactSet