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Business Week Index: THE WEEK AHEAD
BusinessWeek Index: THE WEEK AHEAD
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.