The Week Ahead
PERSONAL INCOME Monday, Mar. 31, 8:30 a.m.EST -- Personal income likely rose a strong 0.7% in February, while consumer spending increased a solid 0.5%. Those are the median forecasts of economists surveyed by MMS International, one of The McGraw-Hill Companies. In January, income rose 0.3% and spending gained 0.7%, but the upward revision to the month's retail sales suggest that January spending will be adjusted higher. NAPM SURVEY Tuesday, Apr. 1, 10 a.m.EST -- The National Association of Purchasing Management's index likely edged up to 53.5% in March, from 53.1% in February, says the MMS survey. Economists will look closely at the NAPM's component covering vendor deliveries. If companies are stretching out the time in which goods are shipped, it would indicate that price pressures are building. LEADING INDICATORS Tuesday, Apr. 1, 10 a.m.EST -- The Conference Board's index of leading indicators probably rose 0.4% in February, after rising 0.3% in January. The index has not fallen since January, 1996. CONSTRUCTION SPENDING Tuesday, Apr. 1, 10 a.m.EST -- The MMS survey forecasts that building outlays rose 0.7% in February, on top of a 0.4% advance in January. The February gain is suggested by the 12.2% jump in housing starts. FACTORY INVENTORIES Wednesday, Apr. 2, 10 a.m.EST -- Factory inventories were probably increased 0.2% in February, after rising just 0.1% in January. EMPLOYMENT Friday, Apr. 4, 8:30 a.m.EST -- The MMS median forecast expects that nonfarm payrolls added 198,000 jobs in March, after 339,000 were created in February. The unemployment rate was likely unchanged at 5.3%. Average hourly earnings are expected to have risen 0.3% in March, after increasing 0.2% in February.
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