A measure of home sales is the highlight of this week’s economic news.


The once red-hot U.S. housing market has slowed drastically as rising mortgage rates kept many home buyers on the sidelines. That has caused sales to slow. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal expect that existing-home sales declined 3.6% in May to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.41 million. That would be the fourth straight month of declines.


Initial claims for unemployment, a proxy for layoffs, are one of the earliest indications of trouble in the labor market. Claims have been slowly ticking up since March, although they remain at a historically low level. Economists expect initial claims to fall slightly to 225,000 for the week ended June 18.

An initial June reading on output in the manufacturing and services sectors should offer a clue as to whether the U.S. economy is slowing down. Economists expect the S&P Global manufacturing purchasing managers index for June to fall to 56.1 from 57. They see the services index rising slightly to 53.5 from 53.4.


An initial reading of June consumer sentiment hit 50.2, its lowest level ever recorded, as households grappled with rising gas prices and inflation. Economists don’t expect that dismal number to change in the final reading.

Write to David Harrison at david.harrison@wsj.com