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The Week Ahead


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.

PERSONAL INCOME

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.

UNEMPLOYMENT CLAIMS

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

totaled 318,300.


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