The Week Ahead
FEDERAL BUDGET Monday, Oct, 23 -- The Treasury Dept. is likely to report a surplus of $8 billion in September, double the surplus of September, 1994. That's the median forecast of economists surveyed by MMS International, one of The McGraw-Hill Companies. September is the last month of the fiscal year as well as a month when quarterly taxes are paid. The expected September surplus would mean that the fiscal 1995 deficit totalled $163 billion, down from $203 billion in 1994. EXISTING HOME SALES Wednesday, Oct. 25, 8:45 a.m. -- Existing homes probably sold at an annual rate of about 3.9 million in September, down from 4.1 million in August. Resales had risen for four straight months before September, but the drop in mortgage applications to buy a home indicates that sales finally posted a decline last month. The recent rally in the bond market, though, suggests one last flurry in home buying before yearend. DURABLE GOODS ORDERS Thursday, Oct. 26, 8:30 a.m. -- The MMS survey projects that new orders taken by durable-goods producers edged up a small 0.3% in September. Durable-goods producers reported a solid rise in output last month, suggesting stronger demand. New orders jumped 4.8% in August. GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT Friday, Oct. 27, 8:30 a.m. -- The economy probably grew at an annual rate of 2.2% in the third quarter, according to the median MMS forecast. The projections range from 1.7% to 3.2%, so all economists surveyed expect that growth last quarter was faster than the anemic 1.3% advance of the second period. Consumer and business spending as well as construction added to growth in the summer, suggesting the real final sales continued to grow above 3%. Slower inventory accumulation probably dragged down the GDP gain. The GDP fixed-weight deflator likely rose at an annual rate of 2.7%, little changed from its 2.8% increase in the second quarter.
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