The Week Ahead

NAPM SURVEY
      Monday, Dec. 1, 10 a.m. EST -- The National Association of Purchasing 
      Management's index probably slipped to 55% in November, from 56% in October. 
      That's the median forecast of economists surveyed by MMS International, one of 
      The McGraw-Hill Companies.
      
      CONSTRUCTION SPENDING
      Monday, Dec. 1, 10 a.m. EST -- Building outlays likely increased 0.5% in 
      October, after an unexpected drop of 1.1% in September.
      
      LEADING INDICATORS
      Tuesday, Dec. 2, 10 a.m. EST -- The Conference Board's composite index of 
      leading indicators probably rose 0.2% in October, the same gain posted in 
      September.
      
      NEW HOME SALES
      Wednesday, Dec. 3, 10 a.m. EST -- The MMS survey expects that new single-family 
      homes sold at an annual rate of 800,000 in October, unchanged from September's 
      high selling pace.
      
      BEIGE BOOK
      Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2 p.m. EST -- The Federal Reserve Board will release its 
      report on how regional economies are doing. The Beige Book is prepared in 
      advance of each Fed policy meeting. The next meeting will be on Dec. 16.
      
      EMPLOYMENT
      Friday, Dec. 5, 8:30 a.m. EST -- The MMS median forecast calls for a gain of 
      200,000 new nonfarm jobs in November, on top of the 284,000 created in October. 
      The survey also expects that the jobless rate ticked back up to 4.8% last 
      month, from October's 4.7%. But given the trends in labor-force and job growth, 
      another drop in the rate would not be surprising.
      
      INSTALLMENT CREDIT
      Friday, Dec. 5, 3 p.m. EST -- Consumers likely added only $4 billion to their 
      debt loads in October. In September, debt rose by just $2 billion. Consumers 
      seem to be cutting back on their use of credit cards.
      
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