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The Week Ahead


Business Week Index

THE WEEK AHEAD

FEDERAL BUDGET

Monday, Sept. 23, 2 p.m.EDT -- The Treasury Dept. will probably report a

deficit of $34.5 billion for August, says the median forecast of economists

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

posted a gap of $33.9 billion a year ago. The deficit is expected to total

about $120 billion when fiscal 1996 ends on Sept. 30.

FOMC MEETING

Tuesday, Sept. 24 -- The Federal Reserve's Open Market Committee will meet to

set monetary policy for the next seven weeks. The MMS economists are almost

evenly split, with about half looking for a one-quarter-point increase in the

federal funds rate, to 5.5%, and the other half expecting the Fed to hold rates

steady. The central bank last moved policy in January, when it cut the fed

funds rate by a quarter-point. A Sept. 17 report on the Reuters newswire said

that 8 of the 12 Fed district presidents have requested a hike in interest

rates.

CONSUMER CONFIDENCE

Tuesday, Sept. 24, 10 a.m.EDT -- The Conference Board's index of consumer

confidence probably fell to 108 in September after rising to 109.4 in August.

The confidence index has been over 100 for the past five months, suggesting

that solid job growth is lifting consumers' spirits.

EXISTING HOME SALES

Wednesday, Sept. 25, 10 a.m.EDT -- The MMS median forecast expects that

existing homes probably sold at a high annual rate of 4.1 million in August. In

July, resales fell a small 0.5% to a 4.14 million pace.

DURABLE GOODS ORDERS

Thursday, Sept. 26, 8:30 a.m.EDT -- New orders taken by durable-goods

manufacturers were probably unchanged in August, says the MMS survey. Orders

increased a surprisingly strong 1.7% in July. Although demand for motor

vehicles probably slipped last month, production gains for other durable goods

suggest that orders for capital goods increased in August.


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