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MONDAY BUSINESS | PREVIEW: Some of the major business
and economic events scheduled for this week

Unemployment Rate Expected to Hold Steady

May 31, 1999|Bloomberg News

The U.S. economy probably added jobs at a hefty pace in May, and manufacturing probably showed more signs of turning around from last year's export slump, reports are likely to show this week. In a Labor Department report due Friday, employers probably added 214,000 workers during the month following a gain of 234,000 in April as the unemployment rate held steady at 4.3%, analysts predict. That would nudge job growth so far this year to just over 1 million. Moreover, an index tracking orders, production and other activity at U.S. factories probably increased in May, bolstered by strong consumer spending. The National Assn. of Purchasing Management index, due Tuesday, is expected to rise to 53.3 from 52.8 in April, analysts said.

* The Conference Board is likely to report Tuesday that its index of leading economic indicators showed no change in April after rising 0.1% in March. The LEI is intended to project economic growth over the next half year. Strength in consumer spending and a rising stock market will probably offset a drop in permits for housing construction, analysts said.

* Also Tuesday, the Commerce Department is likely to report that construction spending rose 0.1% in April after increasing 0.5% in March.

* A report of sales of new single-family homes from the Commerce Department on Wednesday will probably show that demand for residential real estate cooled as mortgage rates increased, analysts said. New home sales probably declined 1.7% in April to 893,000 at a seasonally adjusted annual rate from 909,000 during March.

* The Commerce Department will likely report Thursday that factory orders, a volatile report month-to-month, probably dipped 0.4% in April after surging 2% in March. Most of the weakness probably came in the transportation industry. Other industries are expected to exhibit strength, analysts said.

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