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The Week Ahead


Business Outlook

THE WEEK AHEAD

NEW SINGLE-FAMILY HOME SALES

Monday, June 29, 10 a.m.

New houses probably sold at an annual rate of 550,000 in May, forecast the economists surveyed by MMS International, a division of McGraw-Hill Inc. The May projection is about 4% above the 530,000 selling rate in April and is suggested by the 9.8% gain in single-family housing starts. Housing activity is being buoyed by a drop in mortgage rates.

LEADING INDICATORS

Tuesday, June 30, 8:30 a.m.

The government's composite index of leading indicators likely rose by a strong 0.6% in May, after advancing by 0.4% in both March and April. The gain is suggested by lower unemployment claims, a longer factory workweek, and higher stock prices in May.

NAPM SURVEY

Wednesday, July 1, 10 a.m.

The National Association of Purchasing Management's index of industrial activity probably changed very little in June, from its 56.3% reading in May, says the MMS report. However, the May index was five percentage points above the April reading.

CONSTRUCTION SPENDING

Wednesday, July 1, 10 a.m.

Outlays for building projects likely increased by 0.3% in May, reversing the 0.3% drop in April.

EMPLOYMENT

Thursday, July 2, 8:30 a.m.

The MMS economists expect that nonfarm payrolls increased by a healthy 100,000 jobs in June, after a 68,000 gain in May. Because of the increased hiring, the MMS consensus calls for the unemployment rate to edge down to 7.4% in June, from 7.5% in May.

FACTORY INVENTORIES

Thursday, July 2, 10 a.m.

Manufacturers probably increased their inventories by about 0.2% in May. That would be the first rise since September, 1991. The increase is suggested by the large 0.7% gain in factory output in May and the weakness in shipments.


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