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This Week: New home sales, Gap earns, consumer spending

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The Commerce Department issues its April tally of new U.S. home sales Tuesday and its monthly snapshot of consumer spending Friday

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

HOUSING MARKET BELLWETHER

The Commerce Department issues its April tally of new U.S. home sales Tuesday.

Economists expect the pace of sales slowed last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 955,000 homes. That follows a 20.7% surge in March that lifted the sales pace to the highest level since 2006, the peak of that decade’s housing boom. While builders are enjoying strong demand amid a dearth of existing homes on the market, they’re grappling with rising construction costs and supply chain issues.

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

Nov. 857,000

Dec. 949,000

Jan. 1,010,000

Feb. 846,000

March 1,021,000

April (est.) 955,000

Source: FactSet

A LITTLE LESS RED?

Wall Street expects there will be less red in Gap’s latest quarterly report card.

Analysts predict the struggling clothing chain narrowed its fiscal first-quarter loss from a year earlier as revenue increased. In addition to it namesake chain Gap also operates Old Navy, Banana Republic and Athleta stores, and has been trying to reinvent itself in a retail landscape that’s increasingly driven by online shopping. Gap serves up its latest results Thursday.

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IN A SPENDING MOOD

The Commerce Department reports its monthly snapshot of U.S. consumer spending Friday.

Economists project that spending rose 0.4% in April, a sharp pullback after climbing 4.2% the previous month. The March surge was the biggest in nine months, and came as billions of dollars in government support payments went out to millions of Americans. U.S. consumers account for 70% of economic activity, so the more they spend, the more the economy grows.

Consumer spending, monthly percent change, seasonally adjusted:

Nov. -0.6

Dec. -0.6

Jan. 3.4

Feb. -1.0

March 4.2

April (est.) 0.4

Source: FactSet

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