Business Week Index: The Week Ahead

      Tuesday, Mar. 21   The U.S. Treasury is expected to report a budget deficit of 
      about $40 billion for February, according to the median forecast of economists 
      surveyed by MMS International, a division of McGraw-Hill Inc. In February, 
      1994, the red ink totaled $41.6 billion. While Congress and the White House 
      battle over balancing future budgets, progress is being made in holding down 
      the deficit for fiscal 1995, which began in October. With the expected February 
      number, the deficit for the first five months is running some 16% below the 
      same period of fiscal 1994, when the deficit ended the entire year at $203.6 
      billion, a five-year low. Because of the 1993 Deficit Reduction Act and a 
      healthier economy, federal tax receipts are growing at a faster pace than 
      government outlays.
      Wednesday, Mar. 22, 8:30 a.m.   The trade deficit for all goods and services 
      probably widened in January, to about $8.5 billion, from an unexpectedly low 
      $7.34 billion in December. Exports, which rose 3.2% in December, likely slipped 
      back in January, forecast the MMS economists. Meanwhile, imports probably rose 
      slightly in January, after falling 1% in December. Despite the expected 
      widening for January, the trade deficit is forecast to improve during the 
      course of 1995.
      Friday, Mar. 24, 8:30 a.m.    The MMS survey forecasts that new orders for 
      durable goods likely fell by 0.5% in February. That would follow three 
      consecutive increases, including a 1.1% gain in January. The backlog of 
      unfilled orders probably continued to rise last month. The backlog has risen 
      for five months in a row.
      Friday, Mar. 24, 8:45 a.m.    Sales of existing homes probably fell to an 
      annual rate of 3.4 million in February, following a 4.5% slide in January, to a 
      3.59 million pace. That is suggested by the decline in mortgage applications to 
      buy a home.
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