FEDERAL BUDGET Monday, Nov. 24, 2 p.m. EST -- The Treasury Dept. is likely to report a deficit of $35 billion for October, the first month of fiscal 1998. That's the median forecast of economists surveyed by MMS International, one of The McGraw-Hill Companies. In October, 1996, Washington posted a $39.8 billion debt as the federal deficit totaled $22.6 billion for all of fiscal 1997, the lowest budget gap in 23 years. CONSUMER CONFIDENCE Tuesday, Nov. 25, 10 a.m. EST -- The Conference Board's index of consumer confidence likely stood at 123 for November. The reading would be little changed from October's 123.3, suggesting that the turmoil in the global financial markets has not caused households to worry. Consumers are probably concentrating more on the bright outlook for job prospects. REAL GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT Wednesday, Nov. 26, 8:30 a.m.EST -- The MMS median forecast expects that the Commerce Dept. will report that the third-quarter economy grew at an annual rate of 3.5%, unchanged from the initial estimate of a month ago. Real gross domestic product grew at a 3.3% pace in the second quarter. Aftertax corporate profits likely rose 2.1% in the third quarter over the second, when they grew 1.7%. DURABLE GOODS ORDERS Wednesday, Nov. 26, 8:30 a.m. EST -- New orders taken by durable goods manufacturers likely increased 0.5% in October, on top of a 0.1% gain in September and a 2.5% surge in August. PERSONAL INCOME Friday, Nov. 28, 8:30 a.m. EST -- Personal income probably increased a solid 0.5% in October, says the MMS survey, after a 0.4% advance in September. The October gain is suggested by the strong growth in payrolls and hourly earnings. Consumer spending likely rose 0.3%, after gaining 0.2% in September. The small increase is suggested by the weakness in retail sales.
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