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The Week Ahead


Business Outlook

THE WEEK AHEAD

GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT Tuesday, Apr. 28, 8:30 a.m.

The economy likely grew at an annual rate of 1.7% in the first quarter, say economists polled by McGraw-Hill Inc.'s MMS International. In the fourth quarter, real GDP rose at a mere 0.4% pace.

EMPLOYMENT COSTS Tuesday, Apr. 28, 8:30 a.m.

Wage and benefit costs likely increased by 1% last quarter, a little faster than the 0.6% rise in the fourth quarter.

NEW SINGLE-FAMILY HOME SALES Tuesday, Apr. 28, 10 a.m.

New homes probably sold at an annual rate of 610,000 in March, about the same sales pace as in February. Higher mortgage rates in March prevented any significant gains in home buying.

PERSONAL INCOME Wednesday, Apr. 29, 10 a.m.

Personal income likely rose 0.3% in March, after a 1.1% jump in February. The MMS group projects that consumer spending grew 0.1% in March, after a 0.9% gain in February. Rising service demand offset a drop in goods buying.

LEADING INDICATORS Thursday, Apr. 30, 8:30 a.m.

The composite index of leading indicators likely advanced by 0.4% in March, the third increase in a row. In February, the index was up a strong 0.8%.

FACTORY INVENTORIES Thursday, Apr. 30, 10 a.m.

Manufacturing inventories were probably little changed in March, after a string of five declines, including a 0.3% drop in February.

CONSTRUCTION SPENDING Friday, May 1, 8:30 a.m.

Building outlays were probably up by 1% in March, thanks to a jump in homebuilding. Spending fell 0.4% in February.

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

The Purchasing Managers' Index of industrial activity likely rose to 55% in April, from 54.1% in March.JAMES C. COOPER AND KATHLEEN MADIGAN


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