business

The Week Ahead

EMPLOYMENT COSTS

Tuesday, Oct. 26, 8:30 a.m.

Compensation costs for civilian workers probably rose by 0.8% in the third quarter, forecast economists surveyed by MMS International, a unit of McGraw-Hill Inc. That's slightly below the 0.9% pace in the second quarter and reflects the continued slowdown in wage growth as well as some moderation in the cost of worker benefits.

CONSUMER CONFIDENCE

Tuesday, Oct. 26, 10 a.m.

The Conference Board's index of consumer confidence likely rose to 64.3 in October, up from 62.6 in September. The October gain, which would be the fourth consecutive increase in confidence, is suggested by the jump in the University of Michigan's consumer-sentiment index for early October.

DURABLE GOODS ORDERS

Wednesday, Oct. 27, 8:30 a.m.

New orders for durable goods were probably flat in September, after rising 2.3% in August. Auto demand might lift orders into the plus column. Unfilled orders, down 0.6% in August, probably continued to fall in September.

GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT

Thursday, Oct. 28, 8:30 a.m.

The MMS median forecast is that the economy grew at an annual rate of 2.5% in the third quarter, held down by flood-related losses in farm inventories and income. Consumer spending, business investment, and residential construction were likely up at much stronger rates. The expected pace would be the economy's fastest growth rate since the fourth quarter. Real GDP grew by 1.9% in the second period.

PERSONAL INCOME

Friday, Oct. 29, 10 a.m.

Personal income likely rose just 0.2% in September, hurt by weakness in wages and salaries. Consumer spending, though, probably advanced by a faster 0.4%. In August, income jumped 1.3%, while outlays rose 0.4%. August spending may be revised higher, given the upward changes to retail sales.

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