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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.            
Conference Board Consumer Confidence for April (index)                  
 Tuesday, April 24 at 10:00 a.m. ET                      Actual:        
               Median         Range                  Apr18  Mar18  Feb18
 Confidence    126.0      123.3 to 129.0                --  127.7  130.0
     Comments: The index of consumer confidence is expected to slip     
further to a reading of 126.0 in April, remaining elevated, but with    
some signs that the stock market gyrations have entered consumers'      
consciousness. The Michigan Sentiment Index fell to 97.8 in early-April 
from 101.4 in March.                                                    
New Home Sales for March (annual rate)                                  
 Tuesday, April 24 at 10:00 a.m. ET                      Actual:        
               Median         Range                  Mar18  Feb18  Jan18
 New Homes     630k        605k to 650k                 --   618k   622k
     Comments: New home sales are expected to rebound to a 630,000      
annual rate in March following a third straight decline in February.    
Unadjusted sales were flat from a year earlier. Meanwhile, home supply  
was up 2.0% month/month and 16.0% year/year, so the supply is there if  
demand increases.                                                       
Weekly Jobless Claims for April 21 week                                 
 Thursday, April 26 at 8:30 a.m. ET                       Actual:       
                 Median         Range                Apr21  Apr14  Apr07
 Weekly Claims   231k        225k to 240k               --   232k   233k
     Comments: The level of initial jobless claims is expected to slip  
by 1,000 to 231,000 in the April 21, gaining back the decline from the  
previous week. The four-week moving average would rise by 3,250 in the  
coming week as the 218,000 level in the March 24 week drops out of the  
calculation, assuming the MNI forecast is correct and there are no      
Durable Goods Orders for March (percent change)                         
 Thursday, April 26 at 8:30 a.m. ET                      Actual:        
               Median        Range                   Mar18  Feb18  Jan18
 New Orders    +1.7%     -1.0% to +3.7%                 --  +3.0%  -3.6%
 Ex-Transport  +0.5%     +0.1% to +1.0%                 --  +1.0%  -0.3%
     Comments: Durable goods orders are expected to rise by 1.7% in     
March after a 3.0% gain in February. Boeing orders surged to a total of 
197 from 30 in the previous month, suggesting nondefense aircraft orders
could post another sharp gain. Orders excluding transportation are      
expected to post a 0.5% increase after a 1.0% gain in February.         
GDP for First Quarter (advance estimate)                                
 Friday, April 27 at 8:30 a.m. ET                        Actual:        
               Median         Range                  1Q18a   4Q17   3Q17
 GDP           +1.9%      +1.5% to +2.4%                --  +2.9%  +3.2%
 Chain Prices  +2.4%      +2.1% to +2.5%                --  +2.3%  +2.1%
     Comments: First quarter GDP is expected to be up 1.9%, weaker      
than the 2.9% pace in the previous quarter, with the key factor being   
much slower PCE growth as the retail sales data have been incredibly    
soft in recent months. Stronger capital spending and inventory          
investment should provide some offset. First quarter GDP growth is      
typically softer than the fourth quarter due to residual seasonality.   
The chain price index is expected to rise 2.4% in the first quarter     
after a 2.3% fourth quarter gain.                                       
Employment Cost Index for First Quarter (percent change)                
 Friday, April 27 at 8:30 a.m. ET                        Actual:        
                 Median       Range                   1Q18   4Q17   3Q17
 ECI             +0.7%    +0.6% to +0.8%                --  +0.6%  +0.7%
     Comments: The ECI is expected to rise by 0.7% in the first quarter 
after a 0.6% gain in the previous quarter, but the year/year pace should
be roughly unchanged at 2.6%.                                           
University of Michigan Survey for April (final)                         
 Friday, April 27 at 10:00 a.m. ET                       Actual:        
                Median           Range              Apr18f Apr18p  Mar18
 Consumer Sent  98.0          97.8 to 98.5              --   97.8  101.4
     Comments: The Michigan Sentiment index is expected to be revised up
slightly to 98.0 from 97.8 in the preliminary estimate, remaining below 
the 101.4 reading in March.                                             
--MNI Washington Bureau; +1 202-371-2121; email:
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