Vital Signs: Watch for Trade, Inflation, Spending

On deck: Consumer credit, pending home sales, foreign trade, import prices, producer prices, retail sales, and business inventories

The economy grew at a surprisingly strong 3.3% in the second quarter. Now it’s time to focus on the third quarter, and the initial signs are much less encouraging. The most important economic reports this week will offer readings on foreign trade, retail sales, and inflation. Those three areas—overseas demand, consumer spending, and prices—will be central to how the economy holds up during the second half.

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