Business Week Index
THE WEEK AHEAD
Monday, Mar. 31, 8:30 a.m.EST -- Personal income likely rose a strong 0.7% in
February, while consumer spending increased a solid 0.5%. Those are the median
forecasts of economists surveyed by MMS International, one of The McGraw-Hill
Companies. In January, income rose 0.3% and spending gained 0.7%, but the
upward revision to the month's retail sales suggest that January spending will
be adjusted higher.
Tuesday, Apr. 1, 10 a.m.EST -- The National Association of Purchasing
Management's index likely edged up to 53.5% in March, from 53.1% in February,
says the MMS survey. Economists will look closely at the NAPM's component
covering vendor deliveries. If companies are stretching out the time in which
goods are shipped, it would indicate that price pressures are building.
Tuesday, Apr. 1, 10 a.m.EST -- The Conference Board's index of leading
indicators probably rose 0.4% in February, after rising 0.3% in January. The
index has not fallen since January, 1996.
Tuesday, Apr. 1, 10 a.m.EST -- The MMS survey forecasts that building outlays
rose 0.7% in February, on top of a 0.4% advance in January. The February gain
is suggested by the 12.2% jump in housing starts.
Wednesday, Apr. 2, 10 a.m.EST -- Factory inventories were probably increased
0.2% in February, after rising just 0.1% in January.
Friday, Apr. 4, 8:30 a.m.EST -- The MMS median forecast expects that nonfarm
payrolls added 198,000 jobs in March, after 339,000 were created in February.
The unemployment rate was likely unchanged at 5.3%. Average hourly earnings are
expected to have risen 0.3% in March, after increasing 0.2% in February.