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MONDAY BUSINESS | PREVIEW

Strong Home Sale, Consumer Data Expected

April 26, 1999

The National Assn. of Realtors is expected to report Tuesday that sales of previously owned homes most likely cooled in March, falling 1.8% to a 4.93 million annual rate from 5.02 million during February. Even with the drop below the 5-million-units mark, real estate markets are strong, benefiting from low mortgage rates and the ebullient economy.

The strong labor market also is helping consumer confidence, and the Conference Board is expected to report Tuesday that its index of consumer confidence probably held at a high level in April, 133.3 versus 133.9 during March. A report Friday from the University of Michigan is expected to point to a high level of consumer sentiment as well.

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