The Week Ahead


Monday, Aug. 2, 8:30 a.m.

Construction spending probably increased by a modest 0.5% in June, according to the median forecast of economists surveyed by MMS International, a division of McGraw-Hill Inc. That would be slightly better than the 0.4% gain in May. Homebuilding should lead the advance. Nonresidential construction remains lackluster.


Monday, Aug. 2, 10 a.m.

The National Association of Purchasing Management's index of business activity likely stood at 48.8% in July, not much different from the 48.3% reading in June. That would be the second consecutive month that a low NAPM reading indicated that the industrial sector was contracting. Floods in the Midwest hampered factory activity in that region.


Tuesday, Aug. 3, 8:30 a.m.

The index of leading indicators likely rose a scant 0.1% in June, following a 0.3% drop in May.


Thursday, Aug. 5, 10 a.m.

Inventories held by manufacturers were probably little changed in June, after rising 0.3% in May. That's suggested by the decline in factory output for the month and the upturn in retail sales.


Friday, Aug. 6, 8:30 a.m.

The MMS survey calls for a gain of 150,000 new nonfarm jobs in July, a much stronger increase than the 13,000 added to payrolls in June. Construction jobs were probably skewed by the weather. The unemployment rate in July is expected to hold at June's 7% level.


Friday, Aug. 6

Consumers likely took on an extra $2 billion in credit in June, say the MMS forecasters. That's indicated by healthy car sales and other retail receipts. Credit fell $802 million in May but rose $3 billion in April.

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