Business Week Index: The Week Ahead

      Tuesday, June 20, 8:30 a.m. -- Housing starts likely stood at an annual rate of 
      1.23 million in May, a bit less than their 1.24 million pace in April, 
      according to the median forecast of economists surveyed by MMS International, 
      one of the McGraw-Hill Cos. The drop is suggested by the decline in 
      construction jobs and hours worked in May. Because of the recent fall in 
      mortgage rates, housing starts may rebound in coming months.
      Wednesday, June 21, 8:30 a.m. -- The foreign-trade deficit for goods and 
      services likely narrowed slightly in April, to $9 billion, down from $9.1 
      billion in March. The MMS survey expects little change in either exports or 
      imports. In March, exports rose 5%, to hit a record $65.3 billion, but imports 
      also jumped, by 4.3%, to set a high of $74.5 billion. The trade deficit could 
      have worsened in April, however: Japan has already reported that its trade 
      surplus with the U.S. widened by 3% for the month. The April report will also 
      include revisions to historical trade data.
      Wednesday, June 21 -- The federal government is likely to report a deficit of 
      $37.5 billion in May, wider than the $32.1 billion of May, 1994. In April, 
      Washington posted a record surplus of $49.7 billion. The deficit for fiscal 
      1995, which began last October, is on track to total far less than last year's 
      $203 billion. In fact, the deficit could slip to about $165 billion, the 
      smallest budget deficit in six years.
      Friday, June 23, 8:30 a.m. -- New orders taken by durable-goods manufacturers 
      probably rose a small 0.2% in May, forecasts the MMS report. If so, that would 
      be the first increase since January. Orders in April fell a steep 4%, led by 
      declining motor-vehicle demand. The backlog of unfilled orders probably fell by 
      about 0.4% in May, the same drop as in April.
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