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Business Week Index: The Week Ahead


Business Week Index: THE WEEK AHEAD

BusinessWeek Index: THE WEEK AHEAD

FEDERAL BUDGET

Tuesday, Mar. 21 The U.S. Treasury is expected to report a budget deficit of

about $40 billion for February, according to the median forecast of economists

surveyed by MMS International, a division of McGraw-Hill Inc. In February,

1994, the red ink totaled $41.6 billion. While Congress and the White House

battle over balancing future budgets, progress is being made in holding down

the deficit for fiscal 1995, which began in October. With the expected February

number, the deficit for the first five months is running some 16% below the

same period of fiscal 1994, when the deficit ended the entire year at $203.6

billion, a five-year low. Because of the 1993 Deficit Reduction Act and a

healthier economy, federal tax receipts are growing at a faster pace than

government outlays.

INTERNATIONAL TRADE

Wednesday, Mar. 22, 8:30 a.m. The trade deficit for all goods and services

probably widened in January, to about $8.5 billion, from an unexpectedly low

$7.34 billion in December. Exports, which rose 3.2% in December, likely slipped

back in January, forecast the MMS economists. Meanwhile, imports probably rose

slightly in January, after falling 1% in December. Despite the expected

widening for January, the trade deficit is forecast to improve during the

course of 1995.

DURABLE GOODS ORDERS

Friday, Mar. 24, 8:30 a.m. The MMS survey forecasts that new orders for

durable goods likely fell by 0.5% in February. That would follow three

consecutive increases, including a 1.1% gain in January. The backlog of

unfilled orders probably continued to rise last month. The backlog has risen

for five months in a row.

EXISTING HOME SALES

Friday, Mar. 24, 8:45 a.m. Sales of existing homes probably fell to an

annual rate of 3.4 million in February, following a 4.5% slide in January, to a

3.59 million pace. That is suggested by the decline in mortgage applications to

buy a home.


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