The Week Ahead

      Tuesday, Nov. 21, 8:30 a.m.  --  The U.S. trade deficit for goods and services 
      is expected to have widened to $9.8 billion in September, after having narrowed 
      sharply in August to $8.8 billion, from $11.2 billion in July. That's the 
      median projection of economists surveyed by MMS International, a unit of The 
      McGraw-Hill Companies. Exports are expected to have edged up in September, to 
      $65.5 billion, after a large increase in August. Export growth has picked up, 
      partly because the drag from earlier weakness in the Mexican and Canadian 
      economies is easing up. September imports likely rose faster than exports, 
      hitting $75 billion, partly reflecting a rebound in oil imports. If the MMS 
      projection is on the mark, trade was a neutral factor in third-quarter economic 
      Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2 p.m.  --  The federal budget in October is expected to 
      have begun the 1996 fiscal year by posting a deficit of $29 billion. That would 
      be slightly below last October's red ink of $31.3 billion. The fiscal 1995 
      deficit ended up at $163.8 billion, down from $203.1 billion in 1994. The 
      monthly budget data for the coming year should more closely follow last year's 
      numbers, now that deficit improvement due to the upswing in the business cycle 
      is beginning to wane.
      Friday, Nov. 24, 8:30 a.m.  --  New filings for unemployment insurance for the 
      week ended Nov. 18 probably stood close to their recent four-week average of 
      about 365,000. The MMS survey had expected claims for the week of Nov. 11 to 
      dip slightly to 370,000, from 375,000 the week before. The four-week average 
      has risen to its highest level since the summer. However, the summer increase 
      in new filings reflected temporary shutdowns in the auto industry, so the 
      recent rise in claim activity suggests increasing slack in the labor markets.
      NOTE: Due to the government shutdown, release dates are all tentative.
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