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The Week Ahead


Business Week Index

THE WEEK AHEAD

HOUSING STARTS

Tuesday, Mar. 17, 8:30 a.m. EST -- Builders are expected to have broken ground on new single-family and multi-unit housing in February at an annual rate of 1.55 million, based on the median forecast of economists surveyed by Standard & Poor's MMS, one of The McGraw-Hill Companies. Starts in January totaled 1.53 million.

INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION

Tuesday, Mar. 17, 9:15 a.m. EST -- February output at factories, utilities, and mines is expected to have risen 0.2%, says the S&P MMS survey. January production was unchanged. The capacity utilization rate likely fell to 82.9% from 83%.

BEIGE BOOK

Wednesday, Mar. 18, 2 p.m. EST -- The Federal Reserve will release its summary of economic conditions in the 12 Fed districts. The financial markets will be focused on effects of the Asian crisis and tight labor markets. The report is prepared for use at the Mar. 31 policy meeting.

CONSUMER PRICE INDEX

Thursday, Mar. 19, 8:30 a.m. EST -- Consumer prices are expected to have risen in February by 0.1%, based on the S&P MMS survey. That would follow January's unchanged reading. Excluding energy and food, the core index is projected to have increased by 0.2%, the same as in January.

INTERNATIONAL TRADE

Thursday, Mar. 19, 8:30 a.m. EST -- The January trade deficit for goods and services is expected to have widened to $11.3 billion, says the median forecast from the S&P MMS survey, from December's gap of $10.8 billion. Exports are expected to have declined, while imports are projected to have increased.

FEDERAL BUDGET

Friday, Mar. 20, 2 p.m. EST -- The February federal budget is expected to have been in deficit by $39 billion, according to the S&P MMS survey. That would be less than the $44 billion deficit posted in February of last year.


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