This Week: Tesla earns, GDP snapshot, consumer spending

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

ON THE HOT SEAT

Tesla reports its fourth-quarter results Wednesday at a time when the spotlight couldn’t be more intense on CEO Elon Musk.

The electric vehicle maker’s annual earnings and revenue are projected to have risen in the October-December quarter, but Wall Street is likely to be more focused on why Tesla’s vehicle deliveries fell short of Musk’s pledge to increase them by 50% nearly every year. Tesla’s stock plunged 65% in 2022 amid concerns Musk is devoting less time to the automaker since buying Twitter.

STILL GROWING?

The Commerce Department releases on Thursday its preliminary estimate of how the U.S. economy fared in the fourth quarter.

Economists expect the report will show that gross domestic product grew at a 1.5% seasonally adjusted annual rate in the last three months of 2022. That would follow the third quarter’s 3.2% gain. The Federal Reserve aggressively raised interest rates in 2022 to slow the economy and cool inflation. The strategy risks hitting the brakes too hard on the economy and causing a recession.

GDP, seasonally adjusted annual rate, by quarter:

Q3 2021: 2.7

Q4 2021: 7.0

Q1 2022: -1.6

Q2 2022: -0.6

Q3 2022: 3.2

Q4 2022 (est.): 1.5

Source: FactSet

INFLATION BELLWETHER

The Commerce Department delivers its December snapshot of U.S. consumer spending Friday.

The personal consumption expenditure price index edged up 0.1% in November and rose 5.5% from a year earlier, slower than October’s 6.1% annual rate. The November consumer spending data raised hopes that the long surge in consumer prices has begun to ease. December’s tally will be closely monitored by the Federal Reserve ahead of its next interest rate policy update on Feb. 1.

Consumer spending, monthly percent change, seasonally adjusted:

June 1.2

July -0.1

Aug. 0.8

Sept. 0.6

Oct. 0.9

Nov. 0.1

Source: FactSet

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