Econ Edge: The Economic Week

Here is a look at this week's economic news calendar:

Monday, Aug. 28

    EIA Weekly Gas Price Survey (~4:30 p.m. ET)

    The Energy Department reports that for the second week in a row, gas prices fell by eight cents. This brings the national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded to $2.85. Even with the dropping prices, Americans are paying on average 9 percent more than they were this time last year ($2.61).

Tuesday, Aug. 29

    August FOMC Minutes Released (2 p.m. ET)

    Pushed by weakening ratings of the national economy, consumer confidence fell sharply this week to match its 2006 low. The ABC News/Washington Post Consumer Comfort Index dropped five points to -19 on its scale of +100 to -100, tying the 2006 low it set in mid-May. That's an unusually steep one-week fall; the index has lost five or more points in a single week just 26 times in the last 20 years. It's now 10 points below its long-term average.

    ABC News/Washington Post Consumer Index (5 p.m. ET)

    [prior: -14 / trend: stabilized]

    The ABC News Polling Unit issues its weekly look at consumer sentiment in the United States. Consumer confidence stabilized this week as gas prices posted their biggest one-week drop in nine months.

Wednesday, Aug. 30

    Q2 Gross Domestic Product Growth (8:30 a.m. ET)

    [expected: +3.0 percent / prior: +2.5 percent]

    The Commerce Department says the revised Gross Domestic Product growth during the three-month period was 2.9 percent. That's up from 2.5 percent in the preliminary report, but still much lower than the 5.6 percent in the first quarter and below the average of 3.5 percent for the previous six quarters.

    EIA Weekly Petroleum Status Report (~10:30 a.m. ET)

    Crude inventories rose 2.4 million barrels to 332.8 million barrels in the week ended Aug. 25, or 6.2 percent above year-ago levels, the EIA said Wednesday. Gasoline inventories rose 400,000 barrels to 206.2 million barrels, or 4.6 percent above last year's levels.

Thursday, Aug. 31

    July Personal Income & Spending (8:30 a.m. ET)

    [Income: expected: +0.5 percent / prior: +0.6 percent]

    [Spending: expected: +0.8 percent / prior: +0.4 percent]

    Are we making more and spending more? June's results saw spending and incomes right where they were expected. The nation once again posted a negative national savings rate -- the lowest since proving that we're a nation that loves to spend more than we make. The report also contains the Fed's favorite inflation measures, which were higher than the Fed's comfort zone last month.

    Bernanke Speaks (12:30 p.m. ET)

    The Federal Reserve chairman speaks on productivity at an economic development event in Greenville, S.C.

Friday, Sept. 1

    July Jobs Report (8:30 a.m. ET)

    [expected: +125,000 jobs and 4.8 percent unemployment / prior: +113,000 jobs and 4.8 percent unemployment]

    Arguably, the most important economic report with significant political and economic implications: Is the economy stalled or not? Last month's report was softer than expected with 113,000 new jobs added. That was four months in a row of below-average jobs growth, capping the market's belief that the Fed would be finished hiking interest rates. Surprisingly stocks jump on the news. Unemployment ticked up to 4.8 percent, but the move was within the survey's margin of error.

    Bernanke Speaks (10 a.m. ET)

    South Carolina's most-famous son -- might be a stretch, but hey he IS the most powerful financial mind in the world -- receives the Order of the Palmetto in Dillon, S.C. It's the highest civilian honor awarded by the state. Previous recipients include rock band Hootie and the Blowfish. He gives a brief acceptance speech.

    August Auto Sales (~5 p.m. ET)

    Foreign and domestic automakers report their sales for August throughout the day. Analysts are saying that August will continue the trend -- U.S. automakers lose market share to their Asian competitors. What might be a surprise here: Employee-pricing schemes have lost some of their punch with consumers.

Some information compiled from wire services.