Investors will be watching the Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation reading this week, as will Federal Reserve representatives who are in the quiet period before the Fed’s next meeting. The latest inflation readings on tap this week are the highlight of a calendar with a limited number of economic data releases. Investors also will be getting data on retail sales and the federal budget.

Some notable earnings reports scheduled for this week include financial data from retailers Dollar Tree Inc. (DLTR), Dollar General Corp. (DG),  and Kohl’s Corp. (KSS), while real estate and lending firms are also set to release financial results.  Adobe Inc.’s earnings will indicate whether the software provider can continue to capitalize on artificial intelligence (AI) trends.

With Fed Representatives Quiet, Inflation Data Takes Spotlight
After recent inflation reports have shown that prices have been more stubborn than anticipated, economists will be watching Tuesday’s release of CPI to see whether inflation resumes its downward trajectory or whether price pressures persist. The January CPI report showed the inflation rate falling to 3.1%, the lowest since June, but still came in higher than forecasts. Later in the week, the Producer Price Index will show if wholesaler prices continue on the upward trend demonstrated in January.

There won’t be commentary from Federal Reserve representatives this week, due to the blackout period before the March 19 meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC).

U.S. retail sales data on Thursday will show if the economy can continue to count on a strong consumer after recent signs of weakness, while surveys on consumer and small business sentiment will also demonstrate if optimism on the economy improves.

Retail, Real Estate Earnings To Provide Insights Into Sectors
Along with the retail sales report this week, earnings calls from Dollar Tree, Dollar General, Kohl’s, and other retailers will help show whether consumer spending remains resilient.

Earnings reports from builder Lennar and mortgage lender LoanDepot will provide insight into the real estate industry as persistently high interest rates have chilled mortgage lending. Investors also will be watching the earnings report from Adobe, which is relying on new AI tools to drive the sales of its products. Other tech earnings for the week include Oracle’s report on Monday.