Economy Week Ahead: China GDP, U.S. Industry and Housing

Shoppers passed through a wet market in Guangzhou, China, earlier this month.

Photo: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg News

The latest snapshot of China’s economic growth, U.S. industrial production and the housing market highlight this week’s economic data.


China’s economic growth likely eased in the third quarter. While many analysts at the beginning of the year had expected gross domestic product growth to trend gradually lower in the second half of 2021, Monday’s data may show the world a sharper slowdown as the government looks to rein in tech companies, curb excessive borrowing in the real-estate sector, meet aggressive carbon-emission goals and tackle other economic issues. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal are forecasting third-quarter GDP rose 5.1% from a year earlier, down from a 7.9% gain in the second quarter.

U.S. industrial production is expected to post its seventh consecutive monthly increase in September. The measure of output at factories, mines and utilities has been buoyed by strong consumer demand for manufactured goods, though supply chain disruptions and a semiconductor shortage could curtail auto production and drag down headline figures for the month.


U.S. housing starts for September are expected to moderate. Builders have been caught between strong demand from buyers—spurred in part by low interest rates—and shortages of materials, labor and lots.


U.S. jobless claims are likely to remain near pandemic lows for the week ended Oct. 16. Figures from earlier in the month show companies have been holding on tightly to existing employees while hiring new people remains difficult.

U.S. existing-home sales for September are likely to rebound after an August slowdown. Near record asking prices have given some buyers pause, but interest rates remain low and demand for more space is high, keeping the overall market historically hot.


October surveys of purchasing managers from major economies in Asia, Europe and North America will be watched closely for signs that supply bottlenecks and surging energy prices are affecting factories. Service-sector activity, meanwhile, could grow at a slower pace than in September amid consumer worries about inflation and product shortages.

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Appeared in the October 18, 2021, print edition as ‘Economic Calendar.’