The Week Ahead

PERSONAL INCOME

Monday, Dec. 23, 8:30 a.m. EST -- Personal income is forecast to have increased by 0.3% in November, after rising 0.1% in October. That's according to the median forecast of economists surveyed by MMS International. Consumer expenditures most likely rose by 0.5% during the month, following a 0.4% increase in October. Consumers are still spending at healthy clip, with purchases in October up 3.7% from a year ago, underpinned by steady growth in personal incomes.

DURABLE GOODS ORDERS

Tuesday, Dec. 24, 8:30 a.m. EST -- New orders for durable goods most likely increased 0.4% in November. A broad upturn in orders for capital goods helped push durable goods orders up a strong 2.4% in October.

EXISTING HOME SALES

Thursday, Dec. 26, 10 a.m. EST -- Existing home sales likely eased to an annual pace of 5.7 million in November. In October, sales came in at an annual rate of 5.77 million. Low interest rates and steady income growth are helping propel the 2002 housing market to a record level of sales, which should reach 5.6 million homes.

NEW RESIDENTIAL SALES

Friday, Dec. 27, 10 a.m. EST -- New single-family home sales for November are expected to come in at an annual rate of 1 million. It would be the fourth straight month of sales at a pace of 1 million homes or better. When 2002 wraps up, annual sales will likely exceed 960,000 units, another record for housing.

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