Business Week Index: The Week Ahead

      Monday, July 17, 10 a.m. -- Inventories held by manufacturers, wholesalers, 
      andretailers probably increased by 0.5% in May, according to the median 
      forecast of economists surveyed by MMS International, one of The McGraw-Hill 
      Companies. Manufacturers have alreadyreported a 0.6% gain in May stock levels, 
      but wholesale inventories were nearly unchanged for the month. Inventoriesrose 
      by 0.8% in April, and a slower accumulation in inventories is expected to have 
      been a drag on economic growth in the second quarter. Business sales likelyrose 
      by 0.4% in May,reversing a 0.4% fall in April. Factory shipments andretail 
      salesrebounded in May.
      Tuesday, July 18, 8:30 a.m. -- The foreign trade deficit likely narrowed a bit 
      in May, falling to $10.2 billion from April's startling $11.4 billion, the 
      biggest since the Commerce Dept. began tracking trade in both goods and 
      services 3 1/2 years ago. The MMS economists expect that exports, which fell 
      1.3% in April,rebounded in May, led by increased aircraft exports. At the same 
      time, imports, up 1% in April, saw little change. Still, after adjusting for 
      prices, the small improvement in the May trade deficit suggests that the 
      net-exports sector of thereal gross domestic product subtracted from 
      second-quarter growth. That is after net exports stole almost one-percentage 
      point from GDP growth in the first quarter.
      Wednesday, July 19, 8:30 a.m. -- The MMS survey forecasts that housing starts 
      increased to an annualrate of 1.29 million in June. That would be the highest 
      level since February. In May, homebuilding dropped by 1.3%, with single-family 
      starts slipping to a two-year low. The Junerebound is suggested by the 19.9% 
      jump in May sales of new single-family homes, which helped to clear out some of 
      the supply of unsold units held by builders. However, homebuilding will 
      probably have little upward momentum for therest of 1995.
    Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.