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The Week Ahead


Business Week Index

THE WEEK AHEAD

PERSONAL INCOME

Monday, Mar. 31, 8:30 a.m.EST -- Personal income likely rose a strong 0.7% in

February, while consumer spending increased a solid 0.5%. Those are the median

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

Companies. In January, income rose 0.3% and spending gained 0.7%, but the

upward revision to the month's retail sales suggest that January spending will

be adjusted higher.

NAPM SURVEY

Tuesday, Apr. 1, 10 a.m.EST -- The National Association of Purchasing

Management's index likely edged up to 53.5% in March, from 53.1% in February,

says the MMS survey. Economists will look closely at the NAPM's component

covering vendor deliveries. If companies are stretching out the time in which

goods are shipped, it would indicate that price pressures are building.

LEADING INDICATORS

Tuesday, Apr. 1, 10 a.m.EST -- The Conference Board's index of leading

indicators probably rose 0.4% in February, after rising 0.3% in January. The

index has not fallen since January, 1996.

CONSTRUCTION SPENDING

Tuesday, Apr. 1, 10 a.m.EST -- The MMS survey forecasts that building outlays

rose 0.7% in February, on top of a 0.4% advance in January. The February gain

is suggested by the 12.2% jump in housing starts.

FACTORY INVENTORIES

Wednesday, Apr. 2, 10 a.m.EST -- Factory inventories were probably increased

0.2% in February, after rising just 0.1% in January.

EMPLOYMENT

Friday, Apr. 4, 8:30 a.m.EST -- The MMS median forecast expects that nonfarm

payrolls added 198,000 jobs in March, after 339,000 were created in February.

The unemployment rate was likely unchanged at 5.3%. Average hourly earnings are

expected to have risen 0.3% in March, after increasing 0.2% in February.


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