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The Week Ahead


Business Outlook

THE WEEK AHEAD

PERSONAL INCOME Monday, Jan. 28, 10 a.m.

Personal income probably rose a small 0.3% in December, the same gain as in November, according to economists surveyed by MMS International, a unit of McGraw-Hill Inc. Consumer spending likely increased a mere 0.2% in December after a 0.1% rise in November. That's suggested by weak retail sales in December.

EMPLOYMENT COSTS Tuesday, Jan. 29, 8:30 a.m.

Wage and benefit costs for private workers probably increased by 4.8% in the year ended in the fourth quarter, about the same as the 4.9% pace of the third quarter. Still, wage growth likely showed signs of slowing last quarter.

DURABLE GOODS ORDERS Tuesday, Jan. 29, 8:30 a.m.

New orders for durable goods likely advanced just 1% in December, after a stunning 10.7% fall in November.

LEADING INDICATORS Wednesday, Jan. 30, 8:30 a.m.

The MMS consensus expects that the index of leading indicators fell 0.2% in December, its sixth monthly drop in a row.

NEW SINGLE-FAMILY HOME SALES Thursday, Jan. 31, 10 a.m.

New homes probably sold at an annual rate of just 500,000 in December, according to the MMS consensus. In November, new homes sold at a weak 506,000 pace, as recession and uncertainties about war kept many consumers from buying.

EMPLOYMENT Friday, Feb. 1, 8:30 a.m.

The MMS economists think that nonfarm payrolls were little changed in January, after losing 76,000 in December. The jobless rate in January is expected to rise to 6.2% from 6.1% in December.

NAPM SURVEY Friday, Feb. 1, 10 a.m.

The business activity index of the National Association of Purchasing Management will likely be unchanged in January from its December level of 40.4%.JAMES C. COOPER AND KATHLEEN MADIGAN


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