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The Week Ahead


BUSINESS OUTLOOK

THE WEEK AHEAD

CONSUMER CONFIDENCE

Tuesday, Sept. 28, 10 a.m.

The Conference Board's September index of consumer confidence is expected to edge higher, to 60 from 59 in August, according to the median projection of economists surveyed by McGraw-Hill Inc.'s MMS International. The uptick is based on better readings from other confidence indexes already released.

NEW SINGLE-FAMILY HOME SALES

Thursday, Sept. 30, 10 a.m.

Sales of new homes probably rebounded in August, to an annual rate of 650,000, according to the MMS survey. The sharp drop in July was inconsistent with falling mortgage rates, rising mortgage applications, and builder surveys that show improving market conditions.

PERSONAL INCOME

Thursday, Sept. 30, 10 a.m.

Personal income in August probably bounced back with a gain of 0.8%, says the MMS survey. The reasons: the absence of farm losses, which depressed the July total, plus August gains in hours worked and hourly pay. Consumer spending likely posted a gain of 0.3%.

LEADING INDICATORS

Friday, Oct. 1, 8:30 a.m.

The leading indicators likely rose by 0.5% in August, according to the MMS projections, lifted largely by falling jobless claims and rising stock prices.

FACTORY INVENTORIES

Friday, Oct. 1, 10 a.m.

Manufacturers probably drew down their inventories slightly in August. Factory stockpiles likely dipped by 0.1%, following no change in July.

NAPM SURVEY

Friday, Oct. 1, 10 a.m.

The September index of industrial activity compiled by the National Association of Purchasing Management is expected to have risen to 50%, from 49.3% in August. If so, it will be the first time since May that the NAPM index has reached the important 50% mark--the dividing line between expansion and contraction in the manufacturing sector.JAMES C. COOPER AND KATHLEEN MADIGAN


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