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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