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The Week Ahead


Business Week Index

THE WEEK AHEAD

EMPLOYMENT COST INDEX

Tuesday, Oct. 28, 8:30 a.m.EST -- The third-quarter ECI for civilian workers is

expected to show a rise of 0.8%, based on the median forecast of economists

surveyed by MMS International, a unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies. The ECI

also rose 0.8% in the second quarter.

CONSUMER CONFIDENCE

Tuesday, Oct. 28, 10:00 a.m.EST -- The Conference Board's index of consumer

confidence is expected to have dipped to 128.0 in October, based on the MMS

survey, down from 128.6 in September. However, the September reading was only a

shade below the 28-year high of 129.9 hit in June.

DURABLE GOODS ORDERS

Wednesday, Oct. 29, 8:30 a.m.EST -- Orders taken by manufacturers of durable

goods in September are projected to have declined 0.5%, says the MMS poll,

after soaring 2.7% in August. Based on a three-month moving average, the trend

on new bookings would still be firmly upward.

SINGLE-FAMILY HOME SALES

Thursday, Oct. 30, 10:00 a.m.EST -- Sales of new single-family homes in

September are expected to have risen to an annual rate of 810,000, based on the

MMS survey, up from 800,000 in August. Mortgage rates are lower than they were

in April, and mortgage applications continue to rise.

GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT

Friday, Oct. 31, 8:30 a.m.EST -- The Commerce Dept. will release its initial

estimate for third-quarter real gross domestic product. The MMS survey expects

real GDP to have risen 3.2%, after increasing 3.3% in the second quarter, 4.9%

in the first, and 4.3% in the fourth quarter of last year. Rapid growth in

consumer and capital spending are expected to lead the advance. Slower growth

in inventories and a widening of the trade gap provided the biggest drags. The

GDP price index is expected to have risen at an annual rate of 2%, after

increasing 1.8% in the second quarter. Looking ahead, the MMS poll sees

fourth-quarter real GDP rising a solid 3%.


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