Economy Week Ahead: Factory Activity, Trade and Employment

The U.S. jobs report for August will be in focus this week.

Tuesday

China’s factory activity is forecast to expand at its slowest pace in a year and a half in August after extreme weather and a resurgence of Covid-19 cases weighed on business activity. Economists expect the country’s official purchasing managers index to reflect record rainfall in central China at the end of July, which wreaked havoc on the region’s economy and tangled supply chains, and sporadic coronavirus outbreaks that caused strict lockdowns in some cities.

Wednesday

The Institute for Supply Management’s survey of purchasing managers at U.S. factories is expected to show activity expanded at a slower pace in August than in July. The Delta variant of Covid-19 has dented demand for some goods and services, while bottlenecks in global supply chains and trouble finding workers have snarled production.

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