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Business Week Index: The Week Ahead


Business Week Index: THE WEEK AHEAD

BusinessWeek Index: THE WEEK AHEAD

BUSINESS INVENTORIES

Monday, July 17, 10 a.m. -- Inventories held by manufacturers, wholesalers,

andretailers probably increased by 0.5% in May, according to the median

forecast of economists surveyed by MMS International, one of The McGraw-Hill

Companies. Manufacturers have alreadyreported a 0.6% gain in May stock levels,

but wholesale inventories were nearly unchanged for the month. Inventoriesrose

by 0.8% in April, and a slower accumulation in inventories is expected to have

been a drag on economic growth in the second quarter. Business sales likelyrose

by 0.4% in May,reversing a 0.4% fall in April. Factory shipments andretail

salesrebounded in May.

INTERNATIONAL TRADE

Tuesday, July 18, 8:30 a.m. -- The foreign trade deficit likely narrowed a bit

in May, falling to $10.2 billion from April's startling $11.4 billion, the

biggest since the Commerce Dept. began tracking trade in both goods and

services 3 1/2 years ago. The MMS economists expect that exports, which fell

1.3% in April,rebounded in May, led by increased aircraft exports. At the same

time, imports, up 1% in April, saw little change. Still, after adjusting for

prices, the small improvement in the May trade deficit suggests that the

net-exports sector of thereal gross domestic product subtracted from

second-quarter growth. That is after net exports stole almost one-percentage

point from GDP growth in the first quarter.

HOUSING STARTS

Wednesday, July 19, 8:30 a.m. -- The MMS survey forecasts that housing starts

increased to an annualrate of 1.29 million in June. That would be the highest

level since February. In May, homebuilding dropped by 1.3%, with single-family

starts slipping to a two-year low. The Junerebound is suggested by the 19.9%

jump in May sales of new single-family homes, which helped to clear out some of

the supply of unsold units held by builders. However, homebuilding will

probably have little upward momentum for therest of 1995.


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