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Businessweek Archives

The Week Ahead


THE WEEK AHEAD

NAPM SURVEY

Monday, Feb. 1, 10 a.m.

The National Association of Purchasing Management's index of business activity likely rose to 56.5% in January, from 55.4% in December, forecast economists surveyed by MMS International, a division of McGraw-Hill Inc. The expected reading of the NAPM index would be the highest in 412 years.

CONSTRUCTION SPENDING

Monday, Feb. 1, 10 a.m.

Outlays for construction projects probably increased by 0.5% in December. That's suggested by the healthy gain in homebuilding at yearend. Construction spending has risen strongly for three consecutive months, including a 2.1% jump in November.

LEADING INDICATORS

Tuesday, Feb. 2, 8:30 a.m.

The government's composite index of leading indicators--designed to foreshadow the economy's path--probably rose by 0.9% in December. The index was up 0.8% in November.

NEW SINGLE-FAMILY HOME SALES

Tuesday, Feb. 2, 10 a.m.

The MMS report projects that new home sales rebounded by 5% in December, to an annual rate of 593,000. Home buying had plunged 8.3% in November, but the strong showing of existing-home sales suggests a turnaround at yearend.

FACTORY INVENTORIES

Thursday, Feb. 4, 10 a.m.

Manufacturers probably cut inventories by a small 0.2% in December, after a 0.5% drop in November.

EMPLOYMENT

Friday, Feb. 5, 8:30 a.m.

The MMS report forecasts that nonfarm payrolls increased by 100,000 in January. If so, that would be the strongest job gain since a federal summer-jobs program for teenagers temporarily lifted employment by 171,000 in July. Even with the healthy addition of new jobs, though, the January unemployment rate is expected to remain 7.3%, the same as in November and December.


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