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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.
Conference Board Consumer Confidence for May (index)                    
 Tuesday, May 29 at 10:00 a.m. ET                        Actual:        
               Median         Range                  May18  Apr18  Mar18
 Confidence    128.0      125.5 to 130.0                --  128.7  127.0
     Comments: The index of consumer confidence is expected to slip to a
reading of 128.0 in May, but remain elevated. The Michigan Sentiment    
Index fell slightly to 98.0 in May from 98.8 in April.                  
GDP for First Quarter (second estimate)                                 
 Wednesday, May 30 at 8:30 a.m. ET                        Actual:       
               Median         Range                  1Q18s  1Q18a   4Q17
 GDP           +2.3%      +2.1% to +2.4%                --  +2.3%  +2.9%
 Chain Prices  +2.0%      +2.0% to +2.0%                --  +2.0%  +2.3%
     Comments: First quarter GDP is expected to be unrevised at a 2.3%  
annual rate, while the chain price index is expected to be unrevised at 
a 2.0% rate, suggesting analysts see little excitement in the data and  
are focused on the second quarter.                                      
Weekly Jobless Claims for May 26 week                                   
 Thursday, May 31 at 8:30 a.m. ET                         Actual:       
                 Median       Range                  May26  May19  May12
 Weekly Claims   223k      223k to 223k                 --   234k   222k
     Comments: The level of initial jobless claims is expected to fall  
by 11,000 to 223,000 in the May 26 week after rising to 234,000 in the  
previous week, which brought claims back to more normal levels. The     
four-week moving average would rise by 3,000 in the coming week as the  
211,000 level in the April 28 week drops out of the calculation,        
assuming the MNI forecast is correct and there are no revisions.        
Personal Income for April (percent change)                              
 Thursday, May 31 at 8:30 a.m. ET                        Actual:        
               Median         Range                  Apr18  Mar18  Feb18
 Income        +0.3%      +0.3% to +0.3%                --  +0.3%  +0.3%
 Spending      +0.4%      +0.3% to +0.5%                --  +0.4%   Flat
 Core Prices   +0.1%      +0.1% to +0.2%                --  +0.2%  +0.2%
     Comments: Personal income is expected to rise by 0.3% in April, as 
payrolls rose 164,000, but hourly earnings advanced only 0.1% and       
average weekly hours stayed at 34.5 hours. Current dollar PCE is        
forecast to rise by 0.4% after a 0.4% March gain. Total retail sales    
rose by 0.5% in the month and were still up 0.3% excluding a 0.1% gain  
in motor vehicle sales. Retail sales excluding autos, gas, building     
materials and food services were up 0.4%, indicating underlying strength
continued. The core PCE price index is expected to post a modest 0.1%   
increase in April following a 0.2% gain in March, so the year/year rate 
should remain near the 1.9% it reached in the previous month.           
MNI Chicago Report for May (index)                                      
 Thursday, May 31 at 9:45 a.m. ET                        Actual:        
               Median         Range                  May18  Apr18  Mar18
 MNI Chicago   57.0        56.6 to 58.2                 --   57.6   57.4
     Comments: The MNI Chicago PMI is expected to fall to a reading of  
57.0 in March after ticking up to 57.6 in April. Other regional data    
already released were generally stronger, with the Empire State,        
Philadelphia Fed, Kansas City and Richmond Fed readings all moving      
Nonfarm Payrolls for May (change in thousands)                          
 Friday, June 1 at 8:30 a.m. ET                          Actual:        
               Median         Range                  May18  Apr18  Mar18
 Payrolls      +190k      +170k to +215k                --  +164k  +135k
 Private Job   +185k      +165k to +215k                --  +168k  +135k
 Jobless Rate  3.9%        3.9% to 4.0%                 --   3.9%   4.1%
 Hrly Earnings +0.2%      +0.2% to +0.3%                --  +0.1%  +0.2%
 Avg Wkly Hrs  34.5        34.4 to 34.5                 --   34.5   34.5
     Comments: Nonfarm payrolls are forecast to rise by 190,000 in May  
after a weaker-than-expected 164,000 rise in April. The unemployment    
rate is expected to hold steady at the 18-year low of 3.9%. Hourly      
earnings are forecast to rise 0.2% after a 0.1% gain, while the average 
workweek is expected to hold steady at 34.5 hours for another month.    
Domestic Motor Vehicle Sales for May (mln units, saar)                  
 Friday, June 1                                          Actual:        
               Median         Range                  May18  Apr18  Mar18
 Sales Ex GM   --               --                      --   9.9m  10.2m
     Comments: Domestic-made vehicle sales are expected to hold roughly 
steady in May after slowing in April, though there is some downside risk
as seasonal adjustment factors will subtract significantly from         
unadjusted May sales after adding modestly to April sales.              
Construction Spending for April (percent change)                        
 Friday, June 1 at 10:00 a.m. ET                         Actual:        
               Median         Range                  Apr18  Mar18  Feb18
 Construction  +0.8%      +0.8% to +0.8%                --  -1.7%  +1.0%
     Comments: Construction spending is expected to rose by 0.8% in     
April. Housing starts fell in the month, suggesting private residential 
building pulled back further after a large March dip.                   
ISM Manufacturing Index for May                                         
 Friday, June 1 at 10:00 a.m. ET                         Actual:        
               Median         Range                  May18  Apr18  Mar18
 Mfg ISM       58.3        57.6 to 60.0                 --   57.3   59.3
     Comments: The ISM manufacturing index is expected to rebound       
modestly to a reading of 58.3 in May after declining further to 57.3 in 
April. Regional conditions data have pointed overwhelmingly to improved 
--MNI Washington Bureau; +1 202-371-2121; email:
[TOPICS: M$U$$$]

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