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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