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The Week Ahead


Business Outlook

THE WEEK AHEAD

NAPM SURVEY

Monday, Mar. 1, 10 a.m.

The National Association of Purchasing Management's index of industrial activity in February was probably little changed from its January reading of 58%.

CONSTRUCTION SPENDING

Monday, Mar. 1, 10 a.m.

Construction spending likely rose by 0.5% in January, say economists polled by McGraw-Hill Inc.'s MMS International. In December, outlays were flat.

PERSONAL INCOME

Monday, Mar. 1, 10 a.m.

Personal income increased 0.4% in January, on top of a 1% jump in December, say the MMS economists. But the absence of December's special factors, such as early bonuses, may mean January income declined. Consumer spending likely rose 0.4% in January as well, after advancing 0.5% in December.

LEADING INDICATORS

Tuesday, Mar. 2, 8:30 a.m.

The government's index of leading indicators probably fell 0.2% in January, but it had surged 1.9% in December.

NEW SINGLE-FAMILY HOME SALES

Tuesday, Mar. 2, 10 a.m.

New homes likely sold at an annual rate of 642,000 in January, say the MMS economists. In December, sales jumped by 6.3%, to a 656,000 pace.

FACTORY INVENTORIES

Thursday, Mar. 4, 10 a.m.

Inventories probably fell 0.5% in January after dropping 0.9% in December.

EMPLOYMENT

Friday, Mar. 5, 8:30 a.m.

The MMS report projects that nonfarm payrolls increased by 125,000 jobs in February. Employment gained 106,000 jobs in January. The unemployment rate likely stayed at January's 7.1%.

INSTALLMENT CREDIT

Friday, Mar. 5

Consumers probably added $1.5 billion in debt in January on top of the large $2.5 billion borrowed in December.JAMES C. COOPER AND KATHLEEN MADIGAN


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