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US Economic Forecasts for the Week

Mar 30 2009

US Economic Forecasts for the Week

The week has a fairly good stream of economic data coming up with mostly positive news and the possibility of a couple of poor numbers. Monday is free of data which is currently allowing the Automotive industry to steal the headlines with their poor performance and the new Obama Administration stepping in to mandate a quick turnaround on new government funding.

Positive Numbers for the Week

Tuesday has a number of good numbers coming with the Consumer Confidence rating to be released and the Chicago PMI. The Consumer Confidence measure is estimated to be 28.0 vs a prior reading of 25.0. The uptick in confidence coincides with the recent three week rally in the markets. Chicago PMI which measures the regional manufacturing output is predicted to be 34.4 a small rise about the prior 34.2. But the number could surprise as Briefing.com is predicting a more robust 36.0 (If robust can be used for a number lower than 50).

Other positive releases for the week include on Wednesday; Construction Spending, the ISM Index, and Pending Home Sales. All three are expected to come in better than prior readings. Thursday Factory Orders should also be a positive for the markets with the number predicted to be near even or slightly above even compared to a loss 1.9% in the prior report.

Cautious Numbers this Week

A couple of reports at the end of the week raise a little caution. Although unemployment lags the overall economy, the Nonfarm Payrolls and the Unemployment Rate could cause a pull back in the market indexes when they come out of Friday. Nonfarm Payrolls are expected to be -656K, slightly worse than the -651K in the prior period. Briefing.com is once again more bullish on the number, forecasting -640K. The unemployment number is expected to be 8.5% compared to 8.1%. I would avoid taking any new long positions prior to these two reports.

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