The week ahead

A Palmetto Railways locomotive returns to State Ports Authority’s Columbus Street Terminal in downtown Charleston. The short-haul carrier will hold an open house in Cross on Tuesday about a new rail line that would serve the site of the future Volvo plant.

TODAY

Commerce Department releases factory orders for February.

Moncks Corner-based Santee Cooper will conduct a brief test of its 15 warning sirens for the Santee River floodplain in Berkeley, Clarendon and Williamsburg counties starting at 10 a.m. It will last a few minutes.

TUESDAY

Palmetto Railways holds an open house at the Cross Community Center to unveil the proposed development of a new rail line to serve the Camp Hall Commerce Park and the new Volvo plant near Ridgeville. The line will link the Berkeley County property to an existing railroad right-of-way, near Santee Cooper’s Cross Generating Station. The open house takes place 6:30-8 p.m. at 1690 Old Highway 6.

U.S. Commerce Department releases international trade data for February.

The Institute for Supply Management releases its service sector index for March.

U.S. Labor Department releases job openings and labor turnover survey for February.

Germany releases factory orders data for February, a key indicator for Europe’s biggest economy and one of South Carolina’s largest trading partners.

WEDNESDAY

The Federal Reserve releases the minutes from its March interest-rate meeting. Last week, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen reiterated that the central bank still envisions a gradual pace of interest rate increases in light of global pressures that could weigh on the U.S. economy. She did not specify a timetable for further hikes to follow the Fed’s rate increase in December from record lows. She said the risks to the United States remain limited but cautioned that assessment is subject to “considerable uncertainty.”

Germany releases industrial production figures for February.

THURSDAY

U.S. Labor Department releases weekly jobless claims. Applications rose 11,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 276,000. The less-volatile four-week average rose 3,500 to 263,250. The number of people receiving unemployment checks has fallen 6.3 percent over the past year to 2.17 million. Weekly claims have now been below 300,000 for 55 straight weeks, the longest streak since 1973.

Freddie Mac, the mortgage company, releases weekly mortgage rates. Last week, the averages ranged from unchanged to slightly higher after declining the previous week. The 30-year, fixed-rate home loan held steady at 3.71 percent. The average 15-year fixed-rate mortgage edged up to 2.98 percent from 2.96 percent.

Federal Reserve releases consumer credit data for February.

FRIDAY

U.S. Commerce Department releases wholesale trade inventories for February.

Germany releases export and import figures for February.

Staff and wire reports