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The Week Ahead


BUSINESS OUTLOOK

THE WEEK AHEAD

EMPLOYMENT COSTS

Tuesday, July 27, 8:30 a.m.

Compensation for civilian workers probably rose by 0.7% in the second quarter, according to the median forecast of economists surveyed by McGraw-Hill Inc.'s MMS International. Labor costs increased 1.2% in the first quarter, but the growth in benefits likely slowed last quarter after a 1.4% rise in the first.

CONSUMER CONFIDENCE

Tuesday, July 27, 10 a.m.

The Conference Board's index of consumer confidence likely dropped to 57.2 in July from 58.9 in June. Following Clinton's election, confidence soared to 78.1 in December. But since then, households are worrying more about job prospects and higher taxes.

DURABLE GOODS ORDERS

Wednesday, July 28, 8:30 a.m.

New orders for durable goods probably rose 1% in June. That follows declines in three consecutive months, including a 1.7% drop in May. Unfilled orders probably fell 1% after dropping 0.9% in May.

GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT

Thursday, July 29, 8:30 a.m.

The MMS median forecast is that the economy grew at an annual rate of 2.3% in the second quarter after a weak 0.7% rate in the first. Stronger consumer spending and business investment offset the drags from net exports and slower inventory accumulation. Also, defense rebounded a bit last quarter after plunging 26% in the first period.

NEW SINGLE-FAMILY HOME SALES

Friday, July 30, 10 a.m.

New homes likely sold at a 600,000 yearly pace in June, up from 571,000 in May. Low mortgage rates are lifting demand.

PERSONAL INCOME

Friday, July 30, 10 a.m.

Personal income was little changed in June after rising 0.6% in May. That's suggested by poor job growth and a decline in weekly nonfarm earnings. Consumer spending, however, continued to rise, probably advancing 0.5% in June after a 0.2% increase in May.JAMES C. COOPER AND KATHLEEN MADIGAN


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