The Week Ahead
FEDERAL BUDGET Monday, Sept. 22, 2 p.m.EDT -- The August Treasury balance is expected to show a deficit of $38.5 billion, based on the median forecast of economists surveyed by MMS International, a unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies. The deficit in August, 1996, was $41.8 billion. Based on the forecast, the deficit in the first 11 months of the fiscal year would be $75 billion, but if the September result matches last year's surplus of $35 billion, the deficit for all of 1997 will end up at $40 billion. INITIAL JOBLESS CLAIMS Thursday, Sept. 25, 8:30 a.m.EDT -- First-time claims for unemployment benefits are expected to have totaled about 325,000 for the week ending Sept. 20. After this summer's volatile pattern, the four-week average of claims appears to have settled down to about that pace, a level that is consistent with healthy job growth and tightening labor markets. DURABLE GOODS ORDERS Thursday, Sept. 25, 8:30 a.m.EDT -- The MMS poll projects that durable-goods orders increased 0.5% in August, after a 0.3% drop in July and 2.9% surge in June. If so, orders in the third quarter would be well above their second-quarter average, with particular strength in capital goods other than aircraft. EXISTING HOME SALES Thursday, Sept. 25, 10:00 a.m.EDT -- Home resales are expected to have dipped to 4.2 million in August, from 4.24 million in July, based on the MMS survey. Home demand generally was strong this summer, based on the uptrend in mortgage applications. GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT Friday, Sept. 26, 8:30 a.m.EDT -- The Commerce Dept. will release its final report on second-quarter economic growth. The MMS poll expects real GDP growth to remain close to the preliminary estimate of 3.6%, which was revised up from 2.2%. For the third quarter, economists expect real GDP to grow 3%.
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