The Week Ahead

CONSUMER CONFIDENCE Tuesday, Nov. 26, 10 a.m.

The Conference Board's index of consumer confidence probably dropped to about 59 in November from 60.4 in October, say economists polled by McGraw-Hill Inc.'s MMS International unit. But that small decline would follow a sharp 12.5 point fall in the index in October. The November forecast is suggested by the preliminary report from the University of Michigan that its survey of consumer sentiment also fell in November. Worries about future job layoffs and sluggish income growth is furrowing consumer brows. The expected index would be the lowest reading on consumer confidence since the Persian Gulf war, and it would suggest that retail sales will be dismal during the Christmas shopping season.

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