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Today's Numbers and Meetings
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 5
Today's top economic report is the November employment report. In addition, the Commerce Dept. releases its October factory orders data, the Federal Reserve issues the latest figures on consumer credit, and U.S. President George W. Bush speaks today. See "Meetings of Note." All times are Eastern Standard Time.
EMPLOYMENT REPORT, 8:30 A.M.
The following table outlines the median projections for the key market-sensitive pieces of the November report, based on a survey of forecasters taken by MMS International.
Payrolls of nonfarm businesses in November are forecast to have risen by 147,000 and would mark a fourth straight monthly increase. The brighter outlook is backed up by lower initial jobless claims and better employment subindexes in the Institute for Supply Management's November manufacturing and non-manufacturing activity reports. Manufacturers probably cut another 15,000 positions in November, following a drop of 24,000 in October. However, the recent trend points to a stabilizing labor market in manufacturing.
MANUFACTURERS' SHIPMENTS, INVENTORIES, AND ORDERS, 10:00 A.M.
Factory orders are expected to have risen by 0.6% in October, based on the median forecast of economists surveyed by MMS International. In September, orders rebounded 0.5%, after a 0.3% fall in August. Monthly durable-goods orders for October were already reported up 3.3%. Factory inventories most likely increased 0.2% in October, following five straight monthly declines. Inventory levels of durable goods in October grew 0.2%. The recent pickup in demand has been largely satisfied by a large drawdown on inventories. The inventory to sales ratio for durable goods in October stood at a historically low level of 1.43. And the solid November manufacturing activity report from the Institute for Supply Management showed further strength in the factory sector. That has economists expecting an inventory rebuilding cycle starting this quarter.
CONSUMER INSTALLMENT CREDIT, 3:00 P.M.
Consumer debt very likely climbed by $6.5 billion in October, according to the median forecast of economists surveyed by MMS International. Total credit outstanding surged $15.1 billion in September, after rising by $8.8 billion in August. The slower pace expected for October was likely a function of weaker auto sales.
MEETINGS OF NOTE
U.S. President George W. Bush speaks about the economy in Halethorpe, Md., at 1:15 p.m.
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