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US Data: Highlights of MNI Survey of Economic Forecasts

     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 May 19 week                                   
 Thursday, May 24 at 8:30 a.m. ET                         Actual:       
                 Median       Range                  May19  May12  May05
 Weekly Claims   220k      217k to 224k                 --   222k   211k
     Comments: The level of initial jobless claims is expected to fall  
by 2,000 to 220,000 in the May 19 week after rising to 222,000 in the   
previous week. The four-week moving average would rise by 2,750 in the  
coming week as the recent-low 209,000 level in the April 21 week drops  
out of the calculation, assuming the MNI forecast is correct and there  
are no revisions, remaining very low by historical standards.           
Existing-home Sales for April (annual rate)                             
 Thursday, May 24 at 10:00 a.m. ET                       Actual:        
                 Median       Range                  Apr18  Mar18  Feb18
 Home Resales    5.58m    5.48m to 5.68m                --  5.60m  5.54m
     Comments: The pace of existing home sales is expected to fall to a 
5.58 annual rate in April after gains in the previous two months.       
Pending home sales rose by 0.4% in March after rising sharply in        
February, a small positive factor for existing home sales. Supply of    
homes for sale remains extremely low, keeping prices elevated.          
Durable Goods Orders for April (percent change)                         
 Friday, May 25 at 8:30 a.m. ET                          Actual:        
               Median         Range                  Apr18  Mar18  Feb18
 New Orders    -1.2%      -2.5% to +1.7%                --  +2.6%  +4.5%
 Ex-Transport  +0.6%      +0.3% to +1.2%                --  -0.1%  +1.3%
     Comments: Durable goods orders are expected to fall 1.2% in April  
after a 2.6% gain in March. Boeing reported 78 orders in April, down    
sharply from 197 orders reported in March, so aircraft orders are likely
to pull back after solid gains in the previous two months. Orders       
excluding transportation are expected to rise 0.6%. Annual revisions    
released on May 17 will be included with the data.                      
University of Michigan Survey for May (final)                           
 Friday, May 25 at 10:00 a.m. ET                         Actual:        
                Median        Range                 May18f May18p  Apr18
 Consumer Sent  98.8       98.5 to 99.0                 --   98.8   98.8
     Comments: The Michigan Sentiment index is expected to be unrevised 
from the preliminary May reading, unchanged from the level in April.    
--MNI Washington Bureau; +1 202-371-2121; email:
[TOPICS: M$U$$$]

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