Business Week Index: The Week Ahead
FEDERAL BUDGET Wednesday, Feb. 22 The U.S. Treasury is expected to post a surplus of $13.5 billion in January, according to the median forecast of economists surveyed by MMS International, a division of McGraw-Hill Inc. Washington recorded a $15.2 billion surplus in January, 1994. Strong economic growth is lifting tax receipts. The Clinton Administration forecasts that the deficit for fiscal 1995, which began in October, will total $192.5 billion. CAPITAL SPENDING PLANS Thursday, Feb. 23, 8:30 a.m. The Commerce Dept.'s survey of plant and equipment spending for 1995 will probably show that all industries are set to lift capital budgets by about 7%. That would be only slightly below the 8.8% increase planned for 1994. Beginning this year, Commerce sill conduct its spending survey only twice a year, replacing its quarterly report. The revamping was done to be consistent with the department's Annual Capital Expenditures Survey. The latest spending plans will be significant because business investment is expected to be a growth leader this year. DURABLE GOODS ORDERS Friday, Feb. 24, 8:30 a.m. New orders taken by durable-goods manufacturers probably fell by 0.5% in January, says the MMS survey. Orders rose 3.4% in November and 1.5% in December. A big increase in demand for military hardware boosted the December figure, however, and those orders likely were not repeated in January. The projected decline in new bookings indicates that the backlog of unfilled orders fell last month after increasing slightly for four consecutive months. EXISTING HOME SALES Friday, Feb. 24, 8:45 a.m. Sales of existing homes probably fell to an annual rate of 3.75 million in January. Sales have zigzagged since last summer, thanks to higher mortgage rates. In December, they rose 1.8%, to a 3.89 million pace, after slipping 2.3% in November.
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