The Week Ahead
FEDERAL BUDGET Monday, July 22, 2 p.m.EDT -- The Treasury Dept. will likely report a budget surplus of $27 billion for June when quarterly corporate and individual tax payments are due. That's according to the median forecast of economists surveyed by MMS International, one of The McGraw-Hill Companies. The expected surplus is more than double the $12.8 billion posted in June, 1995. But a quirk in the calendar last year meant that July social security payments were made in late June. On July 16, the Office of Management & Budget said that the deficit would total $116.8 billion for fiscal 1996, which ends in September, and the Congressional Budget Office put it in the range of $115-$130 billion. The 1995 deficit stood at $164 billion. DURABLE GOODS ORDERS Thursday, July 25, 8:30 a.m.EDT -- New orders taken by durable-goods manufacturers likely declined by a small 0.5% in June, forecasts the MMS report. However, the National Association of Purchasing Management has already reported a big gain in its new-orders index for June. Bookings rose a strong 3.4% in May. UNEMPLOYMENT CLAIMS Thursday, July 25, 8:30 a.m.EDT -- New filings for state unemployment benefits likely stood at about 340,000 for the week ended July 20. Despite very tight labor markets and good job growth, jobless claims remain high. Filings jumped by 17,000 in the week ended July 6, a surprise gain considering state employment offices were closed on Independence Day. EXISTING-HOME SALES Thursday, July 25, 10 a.m.EDT -- Sales of existing homes probably fell to an annual rate of 4.16 million, says the MMS median projection. The housing sector has been resilient throughout 1996. Resales dropped only once this year, slipping 3.9% in January. In May, existing-home sales rose 1.4%, to a 4.26 million pace, the highest level in nearly three years.
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