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The Week Ahead


Business Outlook

THE WEEK AHEAD

PERSONAL INCOME Monday, Apr. 29, 10 a.m.

Personal income probably rose a small 0.3% in March after an even meeker 0.2% increase in February, according to economists surveyed by McGraw-Hill Inc.'s MMS International. Consumer spending likely advanced by just 0.2% in March, following a stronger 0.6% gain in February. The weak performance is suggested by a drop in retail sales in March.

NEW SINGLE-FAMILY HOME SALES Monday, Apr. 29, 10 a.m.

New-home sales in March were probably little changed from the annual rate of 467,000 in February, say the MMS economists. But higher mortgage rates and rising unemployment in March may have caused sales to decline.

EMPLOYMENT COSTS Tuesday, Apr. 30, 8:30 a.m.

The MMS consensus expects a 1% rise in labor costs at private companies in the first quarter. Compensation increased by 0.9% in the fourth quarter.

LEADING INDICATORS Wednesday, May 1, 8:30 a.m.

The government's index of leading indicators is expected to post a strong 0.8% gain for March. That is suggested by increases in stock prices and consumer expectations. The index had risen 1.1% in February, but that followed six consecutive monthly declines.

NAPM SURVEY Wednesday, May 1, 10 a.m.

The National Association of Purchasing Management's index of industrial activity probably rose to 42% in April from 40% in March, say the MMS economists.

CONSTRUCTION SPENDING Wednesday, May 1, 10 a.m.

Building spending likely fell 0.3% in March, after a 0.1% decline in February.

EMPLOYMENT Friday, May 3, 8:30 a.m.

Nonfarm payrolls probably fell 134,000 in April after losing 206,000 jobs in March. The April unemployment rate likely rose to 6.9% from 6.8% in March.JAMES C. COOPER AND KATHLEEN MADIGAN


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