The Week Ahead

NAPM SURVEY Monday, July 1, 10 a.m.

The index of business activity compiled by the National Association of Purchasing Management probably rose to 46.9% in June, from 45.4% in May, according to a survey conducted by McGraw-Hill Inc.'s MMS International. The index has gained steadily since February, suggesting a recovery in the industrial sector.

CONSTRUCTION SPENDING Monday, July 1, 10 a.m.

Spending on building projects was probably little changed in May, say the MMS economists. In April, construction spending rose 0.8%, but it had fallen a sharp 2.1% in March. Housing is on the upswing, but nonresidential construction continues to falter.

FACTORY INVENTORIES Tuesday, July 2, 10 a.m.

Manufacturing inventories likely fell by 0.2% in May, the same decline as in April. Factory shipments rose by a stronger amount than production did in May. New factory orders likely rose by 3% in May, after rising 1.8% in April. Durable-goods makers have already reported a 3.8% rise in their orders.

NEW SINGLE-FAMILY HOME SALES Wednesday, July 3, 10 a.m.

The MMS consensus is that new homes sold at an annual rate of 510,000 in May, a 2% increase from April's 500,000 pace. The gain is suggested by the rise in existing home sales in May and the 3.1% advance in the starts of single-family houses.

EMPLOYMENT Friday, July 5, 8:30 a.m.

On average, the MMS economists expect nonfarm payrolls to post a 31,000 increase in June. That would be the second modest rise in payrolls--a good sign of the recession's end. However, not all are convinced that the downturn is over--or that the recovery will be mild. The MMS survey results range from a 100,000 increase in jobs to a decline of 80,000. In May, nonfarm payrolls rose by 59,000. The June unemployment rate is projected to hold steady at 6.9%.

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