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The Week Ahead


Business Week Index

THE WEEK AHEAD

FEDERAL BUDGET

Monday, July 22, 2 p.m.EDT -- The Treasury Dept. will likely report a budget

surplus of $27 billion for June when quarterly corporate and individual tax

payments are due. That's according to the median forecast of economists

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

surplus is more than double the $12.8 billion posted in June, 1995. But a quirk

in the calendar last year meant that July social security payments were made in

late June. On July 16, the Office of Management & Budget said that the deficit

would total $116.8 billion for fiscal 1996, which ends in September, and the

Congressional Budget Office put it in the range of $115-$130 billion. The 1995

deficit stood at $164 billion.

DURABLE GOODS ORDERS

Thursday, July 25, 8:30 a.m.EDT -- New orders taken by durable-goods

manufacturers likely declined by a small 0.5% in June, forecasts the MMS

report. However, the National Association of Purchasing Management has already

reported a big gain in its new-orders index for June. Bookings rose a strong

3.4% in May.

UNEMPLOYMENT CLAIMS

Thursday, July 25, 8:30 a.m.EDT -- New filings for state unemployment benefits

likely stood at about 340,000 for the week ended July 20. Despite very tight

labor markets and good job growth, jobless claims remain high. Filings jumped

by 17,000 in the week ended July 6, a surprise gain considering state

employment offices were closed on Independence Day.

EXISTING-HOME SALES Thursday, July 25, 10 a.m.EDT -- Sales of existing homes

probably fell to an annual rate of 4.16 million, says the MMS median

projection. The housing sector has been resilient throughout 1996. Resales

dropped only once this year, slipping 3.9% in January. In May, existing-home

sales rose 1.4%, to a 4.26 million pace, the highest level in nearly three

years.


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