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The Week Ahead


NONMANUFACTURERS INDEX

Monday, May 5, 10 a.m. EDT -- The Institute for Supply Management's April nonmanufacturing-activity index probably edged up to 50%, the point between growth and contraction, after dipping to 47.9% in March. The war in Iraq froze business activity, but less uncertainty improves prospects for the economy.

FOMC MEETING

Tuesday, Mar. 6, 9 a.m. EDT -- The Federal Reserve Board's Open Market Committee will meet to set monetary policy. Despite the string of weak economic data, economists surveyed by MMS International still expect interest rates to stay at 1.25%. The Fed will likely hold off on moving interest rates before determining how the economy will perform now that the conflict in Iraq is over.

INSTALLMENT CREDIT

Wednesday, Apr. 7, 3 p.m. EDT -- Consumers probably added $2.8 billion of debt in March. In February, debt increased by $1.5 billion, on a strong $5.4 billion jump in revolving credit, made up largely of credit-card debt.

INITIAL UNEMPLOYMENT CLAIMS

Thursday, May 8, 8:30 a.m. EDT -- New filings for state jobless claims very likely slipped to 450,000 for the week ending May 3, from 455,000 in mid-April.


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