Business Week Index: The Week Ahead

FEDERAL BUDGET
      Monday, July 24 -- The Treasury Dept. will probably report a surplus of $15.5 
      billion in June, according to the median forecast of economists surveyed by MMS 
      International, one of the McGraw-Hill Companies. Receipts likely rose last 
      month since quarterly tax payments are due in the last month of each quarter. 
      Washington was in the black by $14.8 billion in June, 1994.
      
      EMPLOYMENT COSTS
      Tuesday, July 25, 8:30 a.m. -- Wages and benefits in the private sector 
      probably increased by 0.8% in the second quarter, faster than the 0.6% gain in 
      the first quarter. That's suggested by the recent pickup in wage growth. Still, 
      for the year ended in the second quarter, compensation likely grew by 2.9%, the 
      same modest advance as in the first.
      
      CONSUMER CONFIDENCE
      Tuesday, July 25, 10 a.m. -- The Conference Board's index of consumer 
      confidence likely bounced back to a reading of 94 in July after the index 
      dropped to 92.8 in June from 102 in May. A stronger job market is boosting 
      consumers' spirits.
      
      DURABLE GOODS ORDERS
      Thursday, July 27, 8:30 a.m. -- New orders for durable goods probably rose 0.5% 
      in June, says the MMS survey. Orders jumped an unexpected 2.7% in May, after 
      falling for three months in a row.
      
      GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT
      Friday, July 28, 8:30 a.m. -- The MMS median forecast expects that the economy 
      grew at an annual rate of 0.5% in the second quarter. But the forecasts range 
      from a 1% drop to a 2.7% rise, which would equal the solid increase in 
      first-quarter GDP. Slower inventory growth and a wider foreign trade deficit 
      probably held down GDP growth. Demand, though slower than in 1994, should show 
      no signs of slipping to a recessionary crawl. Inflation, as measured by the GDP 
      deflator, likely rose at a 2.8% annual rate from 3.1% in the first quarter.
      
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