The Week Ahead
FEDERAL BUDGET Monday, Feb. 24, 2 p.m.EST -- The U.S. Treasury is likely to report a surplus of $16.8 billion for January, a bit lower than the $19.5 billion surplus of a year earlier. That's the median forecast of economists surveyed by MMS International, one of The McGraw-Hill Companies. CONSUMER CONFIDENCE Tuesday, Feb. 25, 10 a.m.EST -- The Conference Board's index of consumer confidence probably fell to 115.8 in February, from a reading of 116.8 in January. However, the high level of the February index would still show that consumers are quite pleased with the economy's performance. HUMPHREY-HAWKINS TESTIMONY Wednesday, Feb. 26, 10 a.m.EST -- Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan is scheduled to give his semiannual testimony on monetary policy to the Senate Banking Committee. Greenspan will report the Fed's central-tendency forecasts for economic growth, inflation, unemployment, and money-supply growth for 1997. Greenspan will testify to the House Banking Committee on Feb. 27. DURABLE GOODS ORDERS Thursday, Feb. 27, 8:30 a.m.EST -- New orders for durable goods likely increased 1% in January. That follows two steep declines, including a 1.9% drop in December. EXISTING HOME SALES Thursday, Feb. 27, 10 a.m.EST -- The MMS median forecast projects existing homes probably sold at an annual rate of 3.9 million in January, about even with the 3.87 million sold in December. GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT Friday, Feb. 28, 8:30 a.m.EST -- Real GDP probably grew at a revised annual rate of 4.4% in the fourth quarter, says the MMS forecast. That's slightly down from the 4.7% gain initially reported by the Commerce Dept., but still faster than the 2.1% increase in the third quarter. The revision will likely show that inventories grew slower than first thought.
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