Housing starts probably fell in January as colder-than-normal temperatures and snowstorms slowed work in parts of the U.S., data this week are forecast to show. The projected decline indicates the residential real estate market succumbed to the same inclement conditions that have slowed retail sales, manufacturing and job growth. Another report may show higher borrowing costs at the start of the year, along with the weather, slowed sales of previously owned homes.
The data docket in the U.S. this week will be eclipsed by the Federal Reserve meeting as prospects mount that policy makers will trim stimulus in response to an improving economy. Elsewhere, November price data out of the U.K. will probably show inflation is cooling toward the Bank of England’s target, German companies gained confidence in December and inflation in Brazil picked up through the middle of this month.
Data this week will probably highlight a divergence in global growth. Employers in the U.S. hired more workers in November, and the government in the U.K. may raise its economic forecast for the first time in three years. Conversely, Brazil’s economy may have contracted in the third quarter for the first time in two years.
As the Senate prepares to vote tomorrow on advancing gun control legislation, advocates and foes are accelerating lobbying efforts. A prime target: Virginia Senator Mark Warner, a Democrat with an “A” rating from the National Rifle Association.