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The Week Ahead


Business Outlook

THE WEEK AHEAD

NAPM SURVEY Monday, Aug. 3, 10 a.m.

The index of industrial activity compiled by the National Association of Purchasing Management probably rose to 53.7% in July, up from 52.8% in June. Thats the forecast of economists polled by mms International, a division of McGraw-Hill Inc. The expected reading would indicate that the factory recovery built up a bit more steam in July.

CONSTRUCTION SPENDING Monday, Aug. 3, 10 a.m.

Spending on building projects likely increased by just 0.2% in June, the same small gain as in May. Public-works spending probably accounted for most of the increase. The decline in housing starts suggests that residential construction fell in June.

LEADING INDICATORS Tuesday, Aug. 4, 8:30 a.m.

The governments composite index of leading indicators probably fell 0.2% in June, after a 0.6% gain in May. Declines in stock prices, factory hours, and building permits offset strength in orders and materials prices. The June decline would be the first loss in the leading index this year.

EMPLOYMENT Friday, Aug. 7, 8:30 a.m.

The MMS consensus calls for a 109,000 increase in nonfarm payrolls in July, offsetting the unexpected drop of 117,000 in June. The most optimistic forecast, however, calls for a very large July gain of 250,000 in all nonfarm jobs, with factory payrolls adding 75,000. The mms economists also expect the unemployment rate to edge down slightly, to 7.7% in July, from 7.8% in June.

INSTALLMENT CREDIT Friday, Aug. 7

Consumers likely lopped off an additional $1 billion from their debt loads in June. Auto financing continues to decline, and the weak performance in nonauto retail sales suggests little growth in revolving credit. Installment credit has fallen for four months in a row, including a $2.4 billion drop in May.JAMES C. COOPER AND KATHLEEN MADIGAN


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