Business Outlook: THE WEEK AHEAD
Tuesday, Sept. 20, 8:30 a.m.
The foreign trade deficit for all goods and services in July is expected to change little from its June reading of $9.4 billion. That's the median forecast of economists surveyed by MMS International, a division of McGraw-Hill Inc. If correct, the forecast suggests that foreign trade started the third quarter larger than its average in the second, when net exports subtracted almost one percentage point from economic growth. For merchandise alone, the MMS economists expect that the trade deficit shrank to $13 billion in July, from $14.2 billion in June. Imports were probably flat after rising 3%. And exports likely increased 2.3% after advancing 4.3% in June. The recent pickup in foreign shipments would push the yearly growth in exports above the pace of imports for the first time in 21/2 years.JAMES C. COOPER AND KATHLEEN MADIGAN