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Business Week Index
THE WEEK AHEAD
DURABLE GOODS ORDERS
Tuesday, Dec. 23, 8:30 a.m. EST -- New orders taken by durable-goods
manufacturers likely increased by 0.5% in November, according to the median
forecast of economists surveyed by MMS International, one of The McGraw-Hill
Companies. Bookings slipped 0.1% in October, but the pace of orders stands well
above year-ago levels. The expected rise in new orders indicates that the
backlog of unfilled orders advanced for the fourth consecutive month.
WEEKLY RETAIL SURVEYS
Tuesday, Dec. 23 -- Two reports on holiday shopping for the last full week
before Christmas will be released. The Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi/Schroder
Wertheim retail report is released in the morning, while LJR Redbook Research
reports their findings in the afternoon. So far during this holiday season,
both surveys have shown good gains in retail spending.
Wednesday, Dec. 24, 8:30 a.m. EST -- Personal income probably increased a
strong 0.7% in November, says the MMS survey. That follows a solid 0.5% gain in
October and is suggested by the surprisingly robust gains in jobs and weekly
pay last month. Consumer spending likely increased 0.4% in November, on top of
a 0.5% rise in October. Although retail sales were weak last month, the unit
sales of motor vehicles posted a large increase. Consumer spending looks on
track to rise at about a 3% annual rate in the fourth quarter, after the 5.8%
surge of the third.
Wednesday, Dec. 24, 8:30 a.m. EST -- Initial filings for state unemployment
benefits likely stood at a 310,000 pace for the week ended Dec. 20, about the
same number of claims filed in the week of Dec. 6. After the four-week moving
average dipped below the 300,000 mark in August, jobless claims have been
trending higher in the fall. In the first week of December, the moving average