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Manufacturing Report Could Influence Fed

September 27, 1999

Federal Reserve policymakers will be watching for a key report Friday on U.S. manufacturing as their next meeting on interest rates approaches. The National Assn. of Purchasing Management's index--a gauge of factory orders, output and other activity--is expected to suggest the recovery in manufacturing is continuing. The index most likely rose to 54.3 in September from 54.2 in August. A reading above 50 suggests manufacturing is expanding. The Fed meets on Oct. 5.

Other reports this week:

* Consumer confidence probably held up in September. The Conference Board is expected to report Tuesday that its index of consumer confidence increased to 136.3 in September from 135.8 during August.

* Factory orders for durable goods probably retreated in August after soaring a month earlier. Wednesday's report is expected to show that orders for U.S. manufacturers probably fell 0.5% in August after rising 3.6% in July.

* A final revision on Thursday of the gross domestic product during the second quarter will probably show little change. GDP, the nation's total output of goods and services, probably grew at a 1.8% pace, the same as previously reported.

* Sales of new single-family homes probably cooled in August by 2.7% as mortgage rates moved higher, a Commerce Department report is likely to show Thursday.

* Americans' incomes, to be reported Friday, probably increased in August as the unemployment rate tied a 29-year low of 4.2%.

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