The Week Ahead


Wednesday, June 24, 8:30 a.m. EDT -- New orders taken by durable-goods manufacturers probably fell by 0.5% in May, says the median forecast of economists surveyed by Standard & Poor's MMS, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies. The decline is a giveback expected after new orders jumped by 2.2% in April, led by the volatile aircraft sector. In addition, the continued fallout from the Asian financial crisis is hitting demand for capital goods.


Thursday, June 25, 8:30 a.m. EDT -- New claims for state unemployment benefits likely stood at about 320,000 for the week ended June 20. That's on a par with the four-week moving average in claims posted in early June. Filings have been edging up since April but remain quite low by historical standards. That suggests June has seen little if any easing in the extremely tight U.S. labor markets.


Thursday, June 25, 10 a.m. EDT -- Existing homes probably sold at an annual rate of 4.75 million in May, says the median S&P MMS forecast. That's down only a bit from the 4.77 million pace of April. In March, resales hit a record of 4.89 million. With mortgage rates still hovering around 7%, housing remains one of the most vibrant sectors of the economy.


Friday, June 26, 8:30 a.m. EDT -- The S&P MMS survey expects that personal income rose by a solid 0.5% in May, the same gain posted in April. The May advance is suggested by the strong gains in jobs and weekly pay for the month. Consumer spending was likely up by 0.6%, on top of the 0.5% increase in April. The buying gain is indicated by the surge in vehicle sales and increased sales at other retailers. Real consumer spending is on track to grow at an annual rate of about 4.5% in the second quarter, following a hefty 6.1% gain in the first.

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