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The Week Ahead


Business Week Index

THE WEEK AHEAD

HOUSING STARTS

Tuesday, June 18, 8:30 a.m.EDT -- Housing starts likely fell to an annual rate

of 1.48 million in May, says the median forecast of economists surveyed by MMS

International, one of The McGraw-Hill Companies. Housing has held up quite well

this year, even as long-term interest rates have risen. Starts jumped 5.9% in

April, to 1.52 million. However, mortgage applications to buy a home have

flattened out recently, suggesting that demand is tapering off.

BEIGE BOOK

Wednesday, June 19, noonEDT -- The Federal Reserve's survey of its 12 districts

will report on a range of economic trends including price pressures, labor

shortages, and retailing, construction, and manufacturing activity. The latest

beige book is being prepared in advance of the monetary policy meeting on July

2-3.

INTERNATIONAL TRADE

Thursday, June 20, 8:30 a.m.EDT -- The MMS median forecast says that the trade

deficit for goods and services likely narrowed to $8.7 billion in April, from

$8.9 billion in March. Exports, which fell in March, are projected to have

rebounded in April. Imports, which increased in March, probably hit another

record in April. Still, the U.S. trade deficit is expected to decline through

the rest of the year, as growth picks up in the industrialized economies.

FEDERAL BUDGET

Friday, June 21, 2 p.m.EDT -- The Treasury Dept. will probably report a budget

deficit of $48 billion in May, up from $40 billion in May, 1995. In April, the

U.S. posted a record surplus of $72.4 billion. Individuals paid a record amount

of taxes because of capital gains from last year's stock market boom and the

final installment of the 1993 tax hike on wealthy households. The April inflow

prompted the Congressional Budget Office to trim its forecast of the fiscal

1996 deficit to just $130 billion, down from the actual $164 billion shortfall

in 1995.


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