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The Week Ahead


Business Week Index

THE WEEK AHEAD

EXISTING HOME SALES

Monday, Jan. 27, 10 a.m.EST -- Sales of existing homes probably slipped to an

annual rate of 4 million in December, from a 4.04 million pace in November.

That's the median forecast of economists surveyed by MMS International, one of

The McGraw-Hill Companies.

EMPLOYMENT COSTS

Tuesday, Jan. 28, 8:30 a.m.EST -- Total wages and benefits for civilian

workers likely increased by 0.8% in the fourth quarter from the third, says the

MMS survey. That's up from a 0.6% rise in the third quarter and would be 3.1%

above the year-ago level. The small acceleration is suggested by the pickup in

growth of average hourly wages reported by the Labor Dept. The growth in

benefits was probably unchanged, at a 0.6% quarterly gain.

CONSUMER CONFIDENCE

Tuesday, Jan. 28, 10 a.m.EST -- The Conference Board's index of consumer

confidence probably slipped to 112 in January, after jumping more than four

points in December, to 113.8.

DURABLE GOODS ORDERS

Wednesday, Jan. 29, 8:30 a.m.EST -- New orders for durable goods likely rose

0.8% in December, says the MMS forecast. Orders dropped 1.5% in November.

REAL GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT

Friday, Jan. 31, 8:30 a.m.EST -- The MMS median forecast expects that the

economy grew at an annual rate of 3.3% in the fourth quarter, after a 2.1% rise

in the third. Consumer spending bounced back, and foreign trade added to

growth. In fact, a sharp narrowing in net exports could have boosted real GDP

growth to above 4% last quarter. Prices economywide likely rose at a 2.1% pace,

from 2% in the third quarter.

NEW HOME SALES

Friday, Jan. 31, 10 a.m.EST -- New homes probably sold at an annual rate of

750,000 in December. That's down sharply from the 772,000 sold in November.


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