Economy Week Ahead: Housing, Jobless Claims, ECB

The European Central Bank announces its first policy announcement since the conclusion of a strategy review indicating greater tolerance for inflation rates above its previous target. Policymakers are expected to leave their stimulus measures unchanged as new Covid-19 infections rise in the eurozone, threatening to slow the currency sector’s economic recovery.

US jobless claims fell to new pandemic levels during the first full week of July, another sign that the labor market is recovering. New claims and benefits payments have declined in recent months, reflecting a strong economy and decisions by nearly half of states to end extended benefits. Economists estimate that claims have declined once again during the week ending July 17.

Current home sales in the US declined for the fourth straight month in May as inventories remained tight and prices hit new highs. Sales of previously owned homes are projected to reverse that trend in June, while the economy continues to rebound, mortgage rates remain low and sellers list more homes for sale.