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The Week Ahead

Business Week Index



Tuesday, Sept. 2, 10 a.m.EDT -- The National Association of Purchasing

Management's index likely fell slightly, to 58%, in August, from 58.6% in July,

according to the median forecast of economists surveyed by MMS International,

one of The McGraw-Hill Companies. The purchasers' readings on delivery times,

employment, and production, however, may be skewed by the strike at United

Parcel Service Inc. Even so, the index will probably continue to show a

moderate uptrend in the industrial sector.


Wednesday, Sept. 3, 10 a.m.EDT -- The Conference Board's index of leading

indicators probably rose 0.2% in July, after no change in June. Falling jobless

claims and a rising stock market likely led the July gain.


Wednesday, Sept. 3, 10 a.m.EDT -- The MMS survey projects that outlays for

building projects likely rebounded by 0.8% in July, after sinking 1.1% in June.

Homebuilding probably bounced back strongly. Builder surveys show rising sales

activity and buyer traffic this summer.


Thursday, Sept. 4, 10 a.m.EDT -- Factory inventories probably rose 0.3% in

July, the same modest rise in June. Business inventories accumulated at a hefty

rate in the second quarter, and economists expect that a lower rate of

accumulation this quarter will be a drag on economic growth.


Friday, Sept. 5, 8:30 a.m.EDT -- The MMS median forecast calls for a 90,000

increase in nonfarm payrolls in August. That's far less than the 316,000 jobs

added in July, but August's payrolls will be distorted by the 185,000 workers

on strike at UPS. Since strikers are not considered unemployed, the jobless

rate is expected to remain at July's 4.8%. The MMS survey also expects that

nonfarm hourly wages edged up 0.3% in August, after no change in July.

We Almost Lost the Nasdaq

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