Magazine

The Week Ahead


FACTORY INVENTORIES

Tuesday, Mar. 6, 10 a.m. EST -- Manufacturing inventories were probably flat in January after remaining unchanged in December. That's suggested by the decline in January factory output.

BEIGE BOOK

Wednesday, Mar. 7, 2 p.m. EST -- The Federal Reserve Board will release its compilation of regional economic activity. The Beige Book is made available in advance of the policy meeting scheduled for March 20.

INSTALLMENT CREDIT

Wednesday, Mar. 7, 3 p.m. EST -- Consumers likely took on $5 billion of additional debt in January. That's according to the median forecast of economists by Standard & Poor's MMS, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies. In December, consumers added $3 billion, the smallest monthly increase since September, 1999, reflecting the sudden shift in consumers' attitudes on the economy. Overall, the increase in consumer debt for 2000 was nearly $116 billion. Although the data have been skewed by new reporting sources, installment credit accumulation was the largest since 1995.

EMPLOYMENT

Friday, Mar. 9, 8:30 a.m. EST -- Nonfarm payrolls likely added 73,000 new jobs in February, after increasing by 268,000 jobs in January, based on the S&P MMS survey. Manufacturing payrolls, however, are expected to fall by 20,000 jobs after a cut of 65,000 workers in January. The unemployment rate is expected to hold at 4.2%.


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