Business Week Index
THE WEEK AHEAD
Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2 p.m.EDT -- The Treasury Dept. is likely to post a $30
billion surplus for September, when quarterly income-tax payments are made.
That's the median forecast of economists surveyed by MMS International, one of
The McGraw-Hill Companies. The surplus is much larger than last September's
$7.2 billion windfall. But that's because Sept. 1, 1996, fell on a Sunday, so
many of this September's transfer payments were made in August. The expected
surplus would mean that the government deficit totaled $114 billion for the
entire 1996 fiscal year, ended on Sept. 30. That would be the smallest red-ink
total since 1981.
INITIAL JOBLESS CLAIMS
Thursday, Oct. 24, 8:30 a.m.EDT -- New filings for state unemployment benefits
likely jumped to about 335,000 for the week ended on Oct. 19. Filings had
fallen to 319,000 in the first week of October, the lowest rate since late July
and August. But the General Motors Corp. strike in Canada has spilled over to
GM's U.S. operations, causing the idling of about 10,000 workers in Michigan
and New York. Once the strike is over, claims should head lower.
DURABLE GOODS ORDERS
Friday, Oct. 25, 8:30 a.m.EDT -- The MMS survey projects that new orders for
durable goods increased 1.5% in September, recouping about half of a 3.2% fall
in bookings in August. The backlog of unfilled orders likely increased in
September, after slipping 0.3% in August.
EXISTING HOME SALES
Friday, Oct. 25, 10 a.m.EDT -- Sales of existing homes probably dipped again in
September. The median MMS forecast expects that resales fell to an annual rate
of 4.1 million, from 4.3 million in August. If so, existing home sales will
have fallen for four consecutive months. However, they still remain above
year-ago levels. And the recent drop in long-term mortgage rates may spur new
demand in the fourth quarter--or at least hold sales steady.