Business Week Index
THE WEEK AHEAD
Monday, Sept. 18, 10 a.m. -- Inventories held by manufacturers, wholesalers,
and retailers are expected to show a 0.4% increase in July, according to the
median forecast of economists surveyed by MMS International, one of the
McGraw-Hill Cos. Stock levels had risen 0.2% in June. If the projection is on
the mark, inventories would begin the third quarter rising slightly less than
their average second-quarter pace, suggesting that businesses continue to rein
in their inventory growth.
Tuesday, Sept. 19, 8:30 a.m. -- Builders broke ground on new homes at an annual
rate of 1.38 million units in August, the same as in July, say the forecasters.
July starts had surged to the highest level of the year, as lower interest
rates boosted sales.
Wednesday, Sept. 20, 8:30 a.m. -- The trade deficit for goods and services is
expected to have narrowed a bit in July, to $10.9 billion, from $11.3 billion
in June, say the economists. If so, the trade gap would begin the third quarter
a shade below the second-quarter average, so trade may not be as big a drag on
economic growth as it was in the second quarter. July exports are expected to
have advanced, while imports apparently held steady.
Friday, Sept. 22 -- The federal budget for August is expected to have been in
deficit by $28 billion, up from August, 1994's red ink of $24.3 billion. The
deficit for the first 10 months of the fiscal year totaled $133.9 billion. The
August projection would bring the deficit's 12-month moving sum to $161.1
billion, suggesting that the budget gap is on target to hit the Congressional
Budget Office's latest projection of $161 billion. That would bring the deficit
down to 2.3% of gross domestic product, the lowest in relation to the size of
the economy since 1979. Improvement in the most recent years stems mainly from
increased receipts, reflecting the strength of the economy.