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The Week Ahead


Business Week Index

THE WEEK AHEAD

EXISTING HOME SALES

Monday, Mar. 25, 8:45 a.m.EST -- Existing homes probably sold at an annual rate

of 3.7 million in February, roughly the same pace as in January. Prior to

February, resales had fallen for four consecutive months.

CONSUMER CONFIDENCE

Tuesday, Mar. 26, 10 a.m.EST -- The Conference Board's index of consumer

confidence likely edged up to 98.8 in March, says the median forecast of

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

Confidence rebounded in February, to 97, after slipping to 88.4 in January.

Both the assessment of current economic conditions and the expectations

component bounced back in February.

DURABLE GOODS ORDERS

Wednesday, Mar. 27, 8:30 a.m.EST -- New orders were likely little changed in

February, after a 3.1% advance in December and a 0.2% rise in January. Because

the weather prevented companies from shipping goods in January, the backlog of

unfilled orders shot up by 1.7% in January. That likely fell back in February.

INTERNATIONAL TRADE

Friday, Mar. 29, 8:30 a.m.EST -- The MMS median forecast expects that the trade

deficit of goods and services widened to about $7.3 billion in January, from

just $6.8 billion in December. Exports, which rose 1.1% in December, were

probably little changed, but imports, also up 1.1%, continued to rise in

January, in part because of increased oil imports.

NEW HOME SALES

Friday, Mar. 29, 10 a.m.EST -- New single-family homes probably sold at an

annual rate of 678,000 in February, down sharply from the 693,000 pace of

January. The 4.2% gain in January sales was largely unexpected, given that

month's harsh weather. With fixed mortgage rates near 8% once again, sales

should slow during the important spring season.


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