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Reports to Update Economy’s Status

From Bloomberg News and Reuters

Investors get new data this week on the economy’s status, including reports on durable goods, consumer confidence, gross domestic product, personal income and home sales.

One of the week’s main events is a government report of real fourth-quarter GDP. Economists expect a 1.4% rise, marking the fifth straight quarter of growth in the economy.

Wall Street also will be watching out for data on the manufacturing sector, with the government scheduled to issue a report on orders for big-ticket manufactured goods. Durable goods orders are expected to show a drop of 1.2% for February, contrasted with a rise of 2.9% in January.

Investors also will look at personal income for clues on whether consumer spending, which powers two-thirds of economic activity, held up amid the barrage of war news headlines.

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The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index, due Tuesday, is expected to dip to 62.4 for March, down from 64 in February.

On Friday, a report from the University of Michigan is expected to verify that reading, showing its confidence index at an 11-year low.

Another report due Friday probably will show that Americans spent 0.2% less on goods and services last month after a 0.1% decline in January.

Meanwhile, sales of previously owned homes probably dropped to a 5.8-million annual rate last month, economists expect the National Assn. of Realtors to report Tuesday, down from a record 6.09-million-home pace in January.

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