THE WEEK AHEAD
EMPLOYMENT COSTS Tuesday, Jan. 28, 8:30 a.m.
Labor costs at nonfarm businesses are expected to have risen by about 1% in the fourth quarter, according to economists polled by MMS International, a unit of McGraw-Hill Inc. That would be a slight decrease from the 1.2% advance in the third quarter, reflecting moderation in wages as continued slackness in labor demand squeezes pay raises.
GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT Wednesday, Jan. 29, 8:30 a.m.
The fourth-quarter economy probably experienced no growth, say the MMS economists. Falling final domestic demand offset gains on the foreign-trade front and some buildup of inventories. In the third quarter, real gross domestic product rose at a 1.8% annual rate. Inflation, as measured by the GDP price deflator, likely increased at a 3% annual rate last quarter, up from 2.1% in the third.
DURABLE GOODS ORDERS Thursday, Jan. 30, 8:30 a.m.
New orders for durable goods probably fell by about 1% in December, reversing the 1% gain posted in November. The expected drop is another sign of the weakening industrial sector.
PERSONAL INCOME Thursday, Jan. 30, 10 a.m.
Personal income likely rose 0.5% in December after falling 0.1% in November. Earnings were buoyed by a longer workweek and the extension of some unemployment benefits. Consumer spending was probably unchanged last month after rising 0.7% in November.
LEADING INDICATORS Friday, Jan. 31, 8:30 a.m.
The MMS consensus is that the government's composite index of leading indicators was little changed in December. In November, the index fell 0.3%.
NEW SINGLE-FAMILY HOME SALES Friday, Jan. 31, 10 a.m.
New homes probably sold at an annual rate of 535,000 in December, say the MMS economists. In November, the annual rate was 520,000.JAMES C. COOPER AND KATHLEEN MADIGAN