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The Week Ahead


Business Outlook

THE WEEK AHEAD

DURABLE GOODS ORDERS Tuesday, Feb. 26, 8:30 a.m.

New orders placed with durable-goods makers probably fell by about 1.2% in January, say economists surveyed by MMS International, a unit of McGraw-Hill Inc. Orders had risen 3.4% in December but plunged 10.1% in November.

GROSS NATIONAL PRODUCT (REVISIONS) Wednesday, Feb. 27, 8:30 a.m.

The MMS consensus is that the fourth-quarter GNP will be revised slightly lower to show a 2.3% annual rate of decline, instead of the 2.1% drop originally figured by the Commerce Dept. That's suggested by the downward revisions to the December data on retail sales and industrial production. Economists also expect an upward revision to the growth in the GNP price deflator, to a 3% annual rate from the previous estimate of 2.8%.

PERSONAL INCOME Thursday, Feb. 28, 10 a.m.

Personal income was likely unchanged in January after a large 0.7% increase in December. However, consumer spending probably dropped by about 0.2% in January after rising 0.7% in December. That's suggested by falling new-car purchases and weak sales at other retailers.

LEADING INDICATORS Friday, Mar. 1, 8:30 a.m.

The MMS economists project the index of leading indicators will fall by 0.4% in January. The index managed a small 0.1% gain in December but had declined in each of the previous four months.

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

The National Association of Purchasing Management's index of industrial activity probably rose to just 38.2% in February from 37.7% in January, according to the MMS survey. That would be the first increase in nine months.

CONSTRUCTION SPENDING Friday, Mar. 1, 10 a.m.

Construction spending likely fell by 0.7% in January, say MMS economists. In December, outlays declined by 0.5%, the ninth drop in a row.


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