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     WASHINGTON (MNI) - The following are highlights of forecasts for   
upcoming U.S. economic indicators provided by participants in the MNI   
weekly survey. The comment section presents the key elements behind the 
median forecasts.      
Weekly Jobless Claims for February 24 week                              
 Thursday, March 1 at 8:30 a.m. ET                      Actual:         
                 Median         Range                Feb24  Feb17  Feb10
 Weekly Claims     226k     218k to 230k                --   222k   229k
     Comments: The level of initial jobless claims is expected to rise  
by 4,000 to 226,000 in the February 24 week after a surprise decline of 
7,000 in the previous week. The four-week moving average would fall by  
only 1,000 in the coming week, as the 230,000 level in the January 27   
week drops out of the calculation, assuming the MNI forecast is correct 
and there are no revisions.                                             
Personal Income for January (percent change)                            
 Thursday, March 1 at 8:30 a.m. ET                       Actual:        
               Median         Range                  Jan18  Dec17  Nov17
 Income         +0.3%     -0.1% to +0.5%                --  +0.4%  +0.3%
 Spending       +0.2%     +0.1% to +0.4%                --  +0.4%  +0.8%
 Core Prices    +0.3%     +0.2% to +0.3%                --  +0.2%  +0.1%
     Comments: Personal income is expected to rise by 0.3% in December, 
as payrolls rose by 200,000, and hourly earnings rose by 0.3%, but the  
average weekly hours slipped to 34.3 hours. Current dollar PCE is       
forecast to rise by only 0.2% after stronger gains in recent month, with
durables spending soft due to a decline in auto spending. Total retail  
sales fell by 0.3% in the month and were flat excluding a 1.3% drop in  
motor vehicle sales. Retail sales excluding autos, gas, building        
materials and food services also flat, indicating underlying weakness.  
The core PCE price index is expected to post a 0.3% increase in January 
following a 0.2% gain in December, but the year/year rate would remain  
well below 2.0%, rising modestly to 1.6%.                               
Domestic Motor Vehicle Sales for February (mln units, saar)             
 Thursday, March 1                                       Actual:        
               Median         Range                  Feb18  Jan18  Dec17
 Dom Sales      13.0m    13.0m to 13.0m                 --  12.8m  13.6m
     Comments: Domestic-made vehicle sales are expected to rebound      
modestly to a 13.0 million annual rate in February after falling sharply
to a 12.8 million annual rate in January, likely due to weather factors.
Seasonal adjustment factors will add slightly less to unadjusted sales  
in February then they did in January.                                   
ISM Manufacturing Index for February                                    
 Thursday, March 1 at 10:00 a.m. ET                      Actual:        
               Median         Range                  Feb18  Jan18  Dec17
 Mfg ISM         58.9     57.7 to 59.3                  --   59.1   59.3
     Comments: The ISM manufacturing index is expected to fall further  
to a reading of 58.9 in February after dipping modestly to 59.1 in      
January. Regional conditions data have been mixed.                      
Construction Spending for January (percent change)                      
 Thursday, March 1 at 10:00 a.m. ET                      Actual:        
               Median         Range                  Jan18  Dec17  Nov17
 Construction   +0.3%    +0.1% to +0.6%                 --  +0.7%  +0.6%
     Comments: Construction spending is expected to rise by 0.3% in     
January. Housing starts surged in the month, suggesting private         
residential building continued its string of recent gains.              
University of Michigan Survey for February (final)                      
 Friday, March 1 at 10:00 a.m. ET                        Actual:        
                Median           Range              Feb18f Feb18p  Jan18
 Consumer Sent    99.3       99.0 to 100.0              --   99.9   95.7
     Comments: Analysts expect the Michigan Sentiment index to be       
revised down modestly to reading of 99.3 from the 99.9 preliminary      
--MNI Washington Bureau; +1 202-371-2121; email:
[TOPICS: M$U$$$]