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The Week Ahead


Business Week Index

THE WEEK AHEAD

FEDERAL BUDGET

Monday, Sept. 22, 2 p.m.EDT -- The August Treasury balance is expected to show

a deficit of $38.5 billion, based on the median forecast of economists surveyed

by MMS International, a unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies. The deficit in

August, 1996, was $41.8 billion. Based on the forecast, the deficit in the

first 11 months of the fiscal year would be $75 billion, but if the September

result matches last year's surplus of $35 billion, the deficit for all of 1997

will end up at $40 billion.

INITIAL JOBLESS CLAIMS

Thursday, Sept. 25, 8:30 a.m.EDT -- First-time claims for unemployment benefits

are expected to have totaled about 325,000 for the week ending Sept. 20. After

this summer's volatile pattern, the four-week average of claims appears to have

settled down to about that pace, a level that is consistent with healthy job

growth and tightening labor markets.

DURABLE GOODS ORDERS

Thursday, Sept. 25, 8:30 a.m.EDT -- The MMS poll projects that durable-goods

orders increased 0.5% in August, after a 0.3% drop in July and 2.9% surge in

June. If so, orders in the third quarter would be well above their

second-quarter average, with particular strength in capital goods other than

aircraft.

EXISTING HOME SALES

Thursday, Sept. 25, 10:00 a.m.EDT -- Home resales are expected to have dipped

to 4.2 million in August, from 4.24 million in July, based on the MMS survey.

Home demand generally was strong this summer, based on the uptrend in mortgage

applications.

GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT

Friday, Sept. 26, 8:30 a.m.EDT -- The Commerce Dept. will release its final

report on second-quarter economic growth. The MMS poll expects real GDP growth

to remain close to the preliminary estimate of 3.6%, which was revised up from

2.2%. For the third quarter, economists expect real GDP to grow 3%.


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