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Business Week Index: The Week Ahead


Business Week Index: THE WEEK AHEAD

BusinessWeek Index: THE WEEK AHEAD

NAPM SURVEY

Monday, Apr. 3, 10 a.m. The National Association of Purchasing Management's

business activity index probably fell to 53.9% in March, from 54.5% in

February. That's the median forecast of economists surveyed by MMS

International, a unit of McGraw-Hill Inc. Analysts will want to see whether the

NAPM's price index fell for the third straight month. From May to December, the

index surged as purchasers reported paying higher prices for materials.

CONSTRUCTION SPENDING

Tuesday, Apr. 4, 8:30 a.m. Construction spending probably fell by 0.5% in

February, after dipping 0.2% in January. The decline is suggested by a 2.6%

drop in housing starts in February.

LEADING INDICATORS

Wednesday, Apr. 5, 8:30 a.m. The government's composite index of leading

indicators probably slipped a small 0.1% in February, forecast the MMS

economists. Over the past five months, the index has barely moved from month to

month. In January, it was unchanged from December.

EMPLOYMENT

Friday, Apr. 7, 8:30 a.m. The MMS survey forecasts that nonfarm payrolls grew

by 210,000 jobs in March, after 318,000 were created in February. However, the

growth in factory jobs is expected to continue to slow. The median forecast

calls for a rise of just 20,000 factory jobs last month, down from 27,000 slots

in February and 44,000 new hires in January. The March unemployment rate

probably rose to 5.5%, from 5.4% in February.

INSTALLMENT CREDIT

Friday, Apr. 7 Consumers probably added a modest $6.5 billion in new debt in

February. A month ago, the Federal Reserve originally said that credit rose

just $3.7 billion in January. But after correcting an error in the

miscellaneous debt category, the Fed revised the January number to a larger

rise of $7.6 billion.


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