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Purchasers' Index Expected to Rise

May 03, 1999

The National Assn. of Purchasing Management is expected to report today that an index of U.S. manufacturing orders, production and other activity signals that factories are recovering from last year's export slump. The purchasing managers index is expected to rise to 54.5 from 54.3 in March. A reading above 50 suggests manufacturing is expanding. "Manufacturing continues to show signs of a rebound following the depressed levels posted in late 1998," said analysts at Standard & Poor's MMS in Belmont, Calif. The recession in Japan and economic slowdowns elsewhere have hurt international demand for American-made products.

Meanwhile, the Commerce Department is expected to report today that personal income increased 0.3% in March after rising 0.5% during February, while personal spending increased 0.4% in March after rising 0.7% a month earlier. Also, the Commerce Department is expected to report that construction spending cooled in March after a torrid February showing as snow and ice halted many construction projects.

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