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The Week Ahead


Business Outlook

THE WEEK AHEAD

LEADING INDICATORS Monday, Dec. 2, 8:30 a.m.

The government's index of leading indicators was likely unchanged in October, say economists surveyed by McGraw-Hill Inc.'s MMS International. In September, the index fell by a small 0.1%.

CONSTRUCTION SPENDING Monday, Dec. 2, 10 a.m.

Outlays for building projects likely fell by 0.1% in October, say MMS economists. That follows a 1.1% gain in September.

NAPM SURVEY Monday, Dec. 2, 10 a.m.

The National Association of Purchasing Management's index of business activity probably fell to 52.2% in November, down from 53.5% in October.

NEW SINGLE-FAMILY HOME SALES Tuesday, Dec. 3, 10 a.m.

New houses probably sold at an unimpressive annual rate of 460,000 in October. In September, sales plunged 12.9%, to 446,000.

GROSS NATIONAL PRODUCT (REVISION) Wednesday, Dec. 4, 8:30 a.m.

The economy likely grew at a revised annual rate of 2.7% in the third quarter, says the MMS consensus. That's a bit better than the 2.4% pace originally reported. The GNP report, however, will contain major revisions, including the usual annual benchmark revisions, a change in the base year for indexing prices to 1987 from 1982, and the measuring of the economy's growth using the gross domestic product instead of the national product. These shifts will paint the 1990-91 recession as worse than first thought.

FACTORY INVENTORIES Thursday, Dec. 5, 10 a.m.

Factory inventories likely were flat in October, after rising 0.4% in September.

EMPLOYMENT Friday, Dec. 6, 8:30 a.m.

Nonfarm payrolls are expected to have fallen by 25,000 in November, following a 1,000 drop in October. The November jobless rate probably rose to 6.9%, up from 6.8% in October.JAMES C. COOPER AND KATHLEEN MADIGAN


Steve Ballmer, Power Forward
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