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Business Week Index: The Week Ahead


Business Week Index: THE WEEK AHEAD

BusinessWeek Index: THE WEEK AHEAD

HOUSING STARTS

Tuesday, May 16, 8:30 a.m. -- Housing starts probably rebounded a bit in April,

to an annual rate of 1.28 million, according to the median forecast of

economists surveyed by MMS International, one of The McGraw-Hill Companies. A

drop in fixed mortgage rates temporarily boosted home buying. The April rise

would be the first increase in homebuilding since December. In March, starts

plunged a surprising 7.9%, to a 1.21 million pace.

INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION

Tuesday, May 16, 9:15 a.m. -- Output at the nation's mines, utilities, and

factories probably dropped 0.4% in April, after slipping 0.3% in March. That

would be the first back-to-back decline in two years. The April drop is

indicated by the fall in factory jobs and work time, especially overtime. Auto

makers probably led the cutbacks in manufacturing output, but the weakness was

widespread. Operating rates likely also slipped lower last month. The MMS

forecast expects that the capacity utilization rate fell to 84.3% in April,

from 84.9%.

INTERNATIONAL TRADE

Thursday, May 18, 8:30 a.m. -- The trade deficit for goods and services was

probably little changed in March, from February's $9 billion. The MMS

economists expect little change in either exports, which rose 2.4% in February,

or imports, down 2% in February. However, because foreign-made goods accounted

for some of the inventory buildup in the first quarter, imports may have fallen

in March. That would mean some narrowing in the trade deficit.

FEDERAL BUDGET

Friday, May 19 -- The U.S. Treasury is expected to report a surplus of $38

billion for April. That's more than double the $17.5 billion surplus reported

in April, 1994. Stronger income growth last year boosted individual tax

payments due by Apr. 17, and the second installment of the 1993 tax hike on the

wealthy was expected to bring in an additional $4.2 billion.


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