This Week: Consumer Confidence, Job Openings, Employment Gains

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

Confidence checkup

The Conference Board delivers its latest monthly snapshot of U.S. consumer confidence on Tuesday.

Economists expect that Americans' confidence gained ground in January from December. Consumer spending accounts for around 70% of U.S. economic activity, so economists pay close attention to gauge how it may affect the broader economy. Consumer confidence remained strong throughout 2023, helping to support spending and broader economic growth.

Consumer confidence, by month:

Aug. 108.7

Sept. 104.3

Oct. 99.1

Nov. 101.0

Dec. 110.7

Jan. (est.) 113.0

Source: FactSet

Job opportunities

The Labor Department releases its December data on U.S. job openings on Tuesday.

Economists project that while job openings eased slightly in December, they remain high by historical standards. The Federal Reserve has been working to cool inflation through interest rate hikes and has been worried about high job openings. They tend to pressure employers into raising wages, leading to price increases.

Job openings, in millions, by month:

July: 8.9

Aug.: 9.5

Sept.: 9.4

Oct.: 8.9

Nov.: 8.8

Dec. (est.): 8.7

Source: FactSet

Employment status

The Labor Department releases its January jobs report on Friday.

Economists predict that nonfarm U.S. employers added 170,000 jobs in January. That would be down from the previous month, when the economy added 216,000 jobs. Still, the job market remains strong overall. December’s job growth was solid enough to suggest that the economy remains sturdy and many companies still want to add more employees.

Nonfarm payrolls, monthly change, seasonally adjusted:

Aug.: 165,000

Sept.: 262,000

Oct.: 105,000

Nov.: 173,000

Dec.: 216,000

Jan. (est.): 170,000

Source: FactSet