The Week Ahead

NEW SINGLE-FAMILY HOME SALES Monday, Aug. 31, 10 a.m.

New homes probably sold at an annual rate of 578,000 in July, according to economists polled by mms International, a unit of McGraw-Hill Inc. That would be a bit faster than the 572,000 pace in June. The fall in mortgage rates in July and August is helping to revive the floundering housing market.

LEADING INDICATORS Tuesday, Sept. 1, 8:30 a.m.

The government's composite index of leading indicators probably rose by 0.2% in July, reversing its 0.2% loss in June. Increased building permits and a rising stock market helped to offset lower consumer expectations and no change in the factory workweek.

NAPM SURVEY Tuesday, Sept. 1, 10 a.m.

The National Association of Purchasing Management's index of business activity likely rose slightly, to 54.5% in August, says the mms report. That suggests that the industrial sector continues to recover. The napm index increased by 1.4 percentage points in July, to 54.2%.

CONSTRUCTION SPENDING Tuesday, Sept. 1, 10 a.m.

Outlays for building projects probably rose 0.5% in July, after sinking 1.5% in June. Gains in public works offset declines in private construction.

FACTORY INVENTORIES Wednesday, Sept. 2, 10 a.m.

Manufacturers probably saw little change in their inventories in July, after they fell 0.1% in June. The weak July performance is suggested by the drop in factory output for the month.

EMPLOYMENT Friday, Sept. 4, 8:30 a.m.

The MMS report says that nonfarm payrolls probably rose by 150,000 in August, after a 198,000 gain in July. However, both increases were lifted by a federal jobs program for teenagers. Those jobs will be lost in September. The unemployment rate probably fell to 7.6% last month, from 7.7% in July.

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