The Week Ahead
EMPLOYMENT COST INDEX Tuesday, Oct. 28, 8:30 a.m.EST -- The third-quarter ECI for civilian workers is expected to show a rise of 0.8%, based on the median forecast of economists surveyed by MMS International, a unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies. The ECI also rose 0.8% in the second quarter. CONSUMER CONFIDENCE Tuesday, Oct. 28, 10:00 a.m.EST -- The Conference Board's index of consumer confidence is expected to have dipped to 128.0 in October, based on the MMS survey, down from 128.6 in September. However, the September reading was only a shade below the 28-year high of 129.9 hit in June. DURABLE GOODS ORDERS Wednesday, Oct. 29, 8:30 a.m.EST -- Orders taken by manufacturers of durable goods in September are projected to have declined 0.5%, says the MMS poll, after soaring 2.7% in August. Based on a three-month moving average, the trend on new bookings would still be firmly upward. SINGLE-FAMILY HOME SALES Thursday, Oct. 30, 10:00 a.m.EST -- Sales of new single-family homes in September are expected to have risen to an annual rate of 810,000, based on the MMS survey, up from 800,000 in August. Mortgage rates are lower than they were in April, and mortgage applications continue to rise. GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT Friday, Oct. 31, 8:30 a.m.EST -- The Commerce Dept. will release its initial estimate for third-quarter real gross domestic product. The MMS survey expects real GDP to have risen 3.2%, after increasing 3.3% in the second quarter, 4.9% in the first, and 4.3% in the fourth quarter of last year. Rapid growth in consumer and capital spending are expected to lead the advance. Slower growth in inventories and a widening of the trade gap provided the biggest drags. The GDP price index is expected to have risen at an annual rate of 2%, after increasing 1.8% in the second quarter. Looking ahead, the MMS poll sees fourth-quarter real GDP rising a solid 3%.
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