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Business Week Index: THE WEEK AHEAD
BusinessWeek Index: THE WEEK AHEAD
Tuesday, Apr. 25, 8:30 a.m. Labor costs for workers in private industry
probably increased by 0.7% in the first quarter, the same small gain as in the
fourth quarter of 1994. If so, the cost of total wages and benefits would have
risen just 2.9% in the year ended in the first quarter, the slowest growth in
compensation in almost eight years. Increases in both wages and benefits are
Tuesday, Apr. 25, 10 a.m. The Conference Board's index of consumer confidence
likely slipped to 100 in April, from a reading of 101 in March. That's the
median forecast of economists surveyed by MMS International, a division of
McGraw-Hill Inc. Consumers have become increasingly worried about the economy's
performance six months down the road. The expectations index has fallen for
three consecutive months. The assessment of present business conditions has
continued to rise, bolstered by healthy job markets.
GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT
Friday, Apr. 28, 8:30 a.m. The MMS median forecast projects that the real
gross domestic product grew at a 2.7% annual rate in the first quarter. That's
about half of the 5.1% pace in the fourth quarter. Consumer spending and
residential construction slowed, but inventory accumulation continued to barrel
along. A big wild card will be foreign trade, which could subtract
substantially from real GDP growth. Inflation last quarter, as measured by the
GDP price deflator, probably rose 2.7% at an annual rate, not much different
from the fourth quarter.
DURABLE GOODS ORDERS
Friday, Apr. 28, 8:30 a.m. New orders taken by durable goods manufacturers
probably dropped by 0.5% in March, after falling 0.8% in February. That would
be the first back-to-back decline in the data in two years. Weakening demand
for consumer durable goods is dampening overall factory orders.