Business Week Index: The Week Ahead

      Monday, Aug. 21 -- The Treasury Dept. will probably report a deficit of $26.3 
      billion in July, according to the median forecast of economists surveyed by MMS 
      International, one of the McGraw-Hill Cos. Washington posted a deficit of $33.2 
      billion in July, 1994. Faster increases in receipts are helping hold down the 
      deficit. It should come in at around $165 billion for fiscal 1995, which ends 
      in September, down from $203 billion in fiscal 1994. Congress will wrestle with 
      the 1996 budget when it returns from its summer recess. Failure to pass a 
      budget, or a veto by President Clinton, could cause the federal government to 
      shut down in the autumn.
      Tuesday, Aug. 22 -- The Federal Open Market Committee, the policymaking arm of 
      the Federal Reserve, will meet to set monetary policy for the next six weeks. 
      In a special survey, MMS found that only one of 29 Fed-watchers expects a cut 
      in interest rates. But nearly half of those surveyed forecast a rate cut by the 
      September meeting. The Fed last made a move in interest rates on July 6, when 
      it cut the federal funds rate from 6% to 5.75%.
      Thursday, Aug. 24, 8:30 a.m. -- New orders taken by durable-goods manufacturers 
      likely increased by 1% in July, as demand for autos is expected to pick up. 
      Overall, new orders fell 0.3% in June, but nondefense capital goods 
      orders--aside from aircraft--jumped 2.6%. Unfilled orders were probably little 
      changed in July, after slipping 0.5% in June.
      Friday, Aug. 25, 8:45 a.m. -- Sales of existing houses probably fell back to an 
      annual rate of about 3.5 million in July. Resales had risen strongly in the 
      preceding two months, including a 6.5% surge in June, to a 3.78 million pace. 
      The flattening-out of mortgage applications to purchase houses, however, 
      suggests that home-buying activity is starting to wane.