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The Week Ahead


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THE WEEK AHEAD

FEDERAL BUDGET

Monday, Nov. 24, 2 p.m. EST -- The Treasury Dept. is likely to report a deficit

of $35 billion for October, the first month of fiscal 1998. That's the median

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

Companies. In October, 1996, Washington posted a $39.8 billion debt as the

federal deficit totaled $22.6 billion for all of fiscal 1997, the lowest budget

gap in 23 years.

CONSUMER CONFIDENCE

Tuesday, Nov. 25, 10 a.m. EST -- The Conference Board's index of consumer

confidence likely stood at 123 for November. The reading would be little

changed from October's 123.3, suggesting that the turmoil in the global

financial markets has not caused households to worry. Consumers are probably

concentrating more on the bright outlook for job prospects.

REAL GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT

Wednesday, Nov. 26, 8:30 a.m.EST -- The MMS median forecast expects that the

Commerce Dept. will report that the third-quarter economy grew at an annual

rate of 3.5%, unchanged from the initial estimate of a month ago. Real gross

domestic product grew at a 3.3% pace in the second quarter. Aftertax corporate

profits likely rose 2.1% in the third quarter over the second, when they grew

1.7%.

DURABLE GOODS ORDERS

Wednesday, Nov. 26, 8:30 a.m. EST -- New orders taken by durable goods

manufacturers likely increased 0.5% in October, on top of a 0.1% gain in

September and a 2.5% surge in August.

PERSONAL INCOME

Friday, Nov. 28, 8:30 a.m. EST -- Personal income probably increased a solid

0.5% in October, says the MMS survey, after a 0.4% advance in September. The

October gain is suggested by the strong growth in payrolls and hourly earnings.

Consumer spending likely rose 0.3%, after gaining 0.2% in September. The small

increase is suggested by the weakness in retail sales.


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