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Reports Likely to Show Expanding Economy

May 24, 1999|Bloomberg News

Reports this week showing higher consumer incomes and spending, an increase in durable goods orders and strength in home sales for April are likely to be among the first signs that the U.S. economy is continuing to expand in the second quarter. Consumer spending, in a report due Friday, probably rose 0.4% in April, matching March's gain, according to analysts. Personal income also rose 0.4%, as in March.

In heavy industry, manufacturers' orders for durable goods--big-ticket products, ranging from autos to aircraft--probably increased 0.4% in April after rising 2.9% during March. The report, from the Commerce Department, is set for release Wednesday.

A report expected Tuesday is likely to show that sales of previously owned homes probably cooled in April after posting a record during March, as borrowing costs increased. Home resales tallied by the National Assn. of Realtors probably declined 1.2% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.99 million units during the month after rising 0.6% in March to 5.05 million, analysts said.

The May consumer confidence report from the Conference Board is also due Tuesday. The index probably will be little changed, with a reading of 134.8 compared with 134.9 during April, still near its highest level in three decades, analysts said.

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