Report on VW Progress After Emissions Scandal, and Consumer Spending Data

The Week Ahead

Businesses have a last chance to give feedback on a proposal for additional tariffs on Chinese goods, and bankers in Germany discuss the threat to their business posed by technological change.

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A report on Monday is expected to criticize Volkswagen’s compliance with a plea agreement with the United States over the carmaker’s emissions scandal.CreditHannibal Hanschke/Reuters

Here’s what to expect in the week ahead:

Autos

Report expected to criticize Volkswagen’s progress since scandal

A former prosecutor assigned to monitor Volkswagen after its emissions scandal will release a report on Monday detailing whether the carmaker has complied with a plea agreement with the United States. Larry Thompson, who was a deputy attorney general from 2001 to 2003, will hold a news conference at Volkswagen’s headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany, to announce his findings, which are expected to be critical of the carmaker’s progress toward becoming a more ethical company. Mr. Thompson faulted Volkswagen in a report this year for failing to hold executives accountable and for not making a serious enough attempt to remake its culture. Volkswagen must correct any shortcomings or it could face reinstatement of criminal charges stemming from the emissions cheating scheme.

— Jack Ewing


Trade

Hearings wrap up on additional $200 billion in China tariffs

On Monday, the Trump administration will hold its final day of hearings allowing companies to weigh in on the prospect of tariffs on an additional $200 billion of Chinese goods. President Trump has already imposed levies on $50 billion worth of Chinese imports and has threatened additional moves to try to force China to change its trade practices. So far, the United States has been unable to persuade China to make substantive changes to its economy. In five days of hearings last week, most companies testified that the tariffs would raise their costs and make it harder for them to operate in the United States.

— Ana Swanson


Economy

German bankers to discuss strategies to combat crisis

The German economy is humming, but the country’s banks are seemingly in perpetual crisis, and now they are threatened by technological change that opens them up to new competitors. German bankers and financial service providers will discuss those and other challenges in Frankfurt on Wednesday and Thursday during a conference sponsored by Handelsblatt, a financial daily newspaper. Prominent speakers include Olaf Scholz, the German finance minister, and Christian Sewing, chief executive of Deutsche Bank.

— Jack Ewing


Economy

Consumer spending probably stayed strong in July

Strong spending by consumers helped power the American economy to its best showing since 2014 in the second quarter of the year, and on Thursday, numbers from the Commerce Department will reveal whether consumers kept that momentum up in July. There is reason to think they did. Retail sales numbers released earlier this month showed strong growth, and confidence in the economy is high. Wage growth, however, has been disappointing, despite the low unemployment rate, and inflation has been taking a bigger bite out of Americans’ earnings. Both factors could help keep a lid on spending. Policymakers at the Federal Reserve will be watching Thursday’s report closely for hints that prices are rising more quickly. If they are, it could be more likely that the Fed will raise interest rates two more times this year.

— Ben Casselman