The Week Ahead

      Tuesday, Apr. 16, 8:30 a.m.EDT -- Housing starts probably fell back to an 
      annual rate of 1.45 million in March, says the median forecast of economists 
      surveyed by MMS International, one of The McGraw-Hill Companies. Homebuilding 
      stayed remarkably high over the winter months. Starts rose 1.5% in January and 
      3% in February, to a 1.49 million pace. Now, however, higher mortgage rates 
      have reduced demand.
      Tuesday, Apr. 16, 9:15 a.m.EDT -- Output at the nation's factories, mines, and 
      utilities probably fell by 0.4% in March, says the MMS forecast. That's 
      suggested by the weakness in the March report from the National Association of 
      Purchasing Management, the drop in manufacturing payrolls, and the strike at 
      General Motors Corp. Industrial production bounced back 1.2% in February, after 
      the blizzard cut output in January. Operating rates for all industry likely 
      slipped to 82.4% in March, from 82.9% in February.
      Thursday, Apr. 18, 10 a.m.EDT -- The financial markets have begun to notice the 
      Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia's survey of area businesses because it is 
      one of the earliest readings of each month's economic activity. The bond market 
      rallied when the Mar. 21 report said that the March general economic index fell 
      to -0.1, meaning slightly more businesses saw a slowdown than reported better 
      Friday, Apr. 19, 2 p.m.EDT -- The Treasury Dept. will probably report a deficit 
      of $44.5 billion in March, says the median MMS forecast. That's better than the 
      $50.5 billion shortfall in March, 1995. However, the deficit could be higher 
      because the government is still playing catch-up in outlays after the last 
      shutdown, and tax refunds are running above last year's levels. Still, the 
      budget deficit seems on track to total about $150 billion for fiscal 1996, 
      which ends in September.
Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.