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Business Outlook


GROSS NATIONAL PRODUCT Tuesday, Oct. 29, 8:30 a.m.

The real gross national product likely grew at a 2.6% annual rate in the third quarter, say economists polled by McGraw-Hill Inc.'s MMS International. GNP fell by 0.5% in the second quarter.

NEW SINGLE-FAMILY HOME SALES Wednesday, Oct. 30, 10 a.m.

New houses probably sold at an annual rate of 540,000 in September, the same pace as in August.

PERSONAL INCOME Wednesday, Oct. 30, 10 a.m.

Personal income likely rose 0.4% in September, the same gain as in August. Consumer spending probably increased 0.5% for the month, on top of a small 0.1% rise in August.

FACTORY INVENTORIES Thursday, Oct. 31, 10 a.m.

Factory inventories were likely unchanged in September. Stockpiles have fallen for nine consecutive months, including a 0.3% drop in August.

EMPLOYMENT Friday, Nov. 1, 8:30 a.m.

The MMS economists forecast that nonfarm payrolls rose by only 40,000 in October, after a 24,000 advance in September. The October jobless rate, however, is expected to rise to 6.8%, from 6.7% in September.

LEADING INDICATORS Friday, Nov. 1, 8:30 a.m.

The government's index of leading indicators probably rose 0.1% in September. In August, the index was unchanged.

NAPM SURVEY Friday, Nov. 1, 10 a.m.

The National Association of Purchasing Management's index of business activity likely edged up to 55.2% in October, from 55% in September.

CONSTRUCTION SPENDING Friday, Nov. 1, 10 a.m.

Construction spending was flat in September, says the MMS consensus. In August, outlays rose 0.3%.JAMES C. COOPER AND KATHLEEN MADIGAN

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