EXISTING HOME SALES Monday, Mar. 25, 8:45 a.m.EST -- Existing homes probably sold at an annual rate of 3.7 million in February, roughly the same pace as in January. Prior to February, resales had fallen for four consecutive months. CONSUMER CONFIDENCE Tuesday, Mar. 26, 10 a.m.EST -- The Conference Board's index of consumer confidence likely edged up to 98.8 in March, says the median forecast of economists surveyed by MMS International, one of The McGraw-Hill Companies. Confidence rebounded in February, to 97, after slipping to 88.4 in January. Both the assessment of current economic conditions and the expectations component bounced back in February. DURABLE GOODS ORDERS Wednesday, Mar. 27, 8:30 a.m.EST -- New orders were likely little changed in February, after a 3.1% advance in December and a 0.2% rise in January. Because the weather prevented companies from shipping goods in January, the backlog of unfilled orders shot up by 1.7% in January. That likely fell back in February. INTERNATIONAL TRADE Friday, Mar. 29, 8:30 a.m.EST -- The MMS median forecast expects that the trade deficit of goods and services widened to about $7.3 billion in January, from just $6.8 billion in December. Exports, which rose 1.1% in December, were probably little changed, but imports, also up 1.1%, continued to rise in January, in part because of increased oil imports. NEW HOME SALES Friday, Mar. 29, 10 a.m.EST -- New single-family homes probably sold at an annual rate of 678,000 in February, down sharply from the 693,000 pace of January. The 4.2% gain in January sales was largely unexpected, given that month's harsh weather. With fixed mortgage rates near 8% once again, sales should slow during the important spring season.
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