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The Week Ahead


Business Outlook

THE WEEK AHEAD

DURABLE-GOODS ORDERS

Wednesday, June 24, 8:30 a.m.

New orders taken by durable-goods manufacturers probably increased by 1% in May, say economists surveyed by MMS International, a division of McGraw-Hill Inc. That's suggested by the 1.3% jump in durable-goods output. Orders have increased for four consecutive months, including a 1.3% gain in April. Despite the steady gain in new demand, the backlog of unfilled orders remains weak. It has fallen for eight months in a row.

CAR SALES

Wednesday, June 24

New domestic-made cars likely sold at an annual rate of about 6.3 million in the middle of June, after selling at a 6.5 million pace in the first 10 days of this month. Cars sold at a 6.3 million rate for all of May. The auto industry finally seems to be launching a recovery. And Detroit is also getting a boost from the increased demand for light trucks, which sold at a 4.7 million rate in early June.

INITIAL UNEMPLOYMENT CLAIMS

Thursday, June 25, 8:30 a.m.

New filings for state unemployment benefits probably stood at an annual rate of 410,000 in the week ended June 13. In the week ended May 30, 407,000 claims were recorded, but economists had expected filings to dip below 400,000 because state employment offices were closed on Memorial Day, May 25.

PERSONAL INCOME

Friday, June 26, 10 a.m.

Personal income likely increased by a modest 0.4% in May, after a weak 0.1% rise in April, says the MMS report. Wages and salaries, flat in April, probably got a healthy boost in May from the 12-minute increase in the factory workweek. Consumer spending probably also increased by 0.4% in May, after a 0.3% advance in April. That's suggested by a 0.2% rise in retail sales and a pickup in demand for services. Sluggish job growth is holding back the increases to consumer spending. The expected May advance means that so far in the second quarter, real consumer spending is unchanged from its first-quarter level.


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