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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.         
Trade in Goods and Services for July (deficit, billion $)               
 Wednesday, September 5 at 8:30 a.m. ET                  Actual:        
               Median         Range                Jul18   Jun18   May18
 Trade Gap    -$50.0b  -$50.8b to -$49.5b             -- -$46.3b -$43.2b
     Comments: The international trade gap is expected to widen sharply 
to $50.0 billion in July from $46.3 billion in June. The advance        
estimate of the Census goods trade gap widened to $72.2 billion, as     
export fell and imports rose.                                           
Weekly Jobless Claims for September 1 week                              
 Thursday, September 6 at 8:30 a.m. ET                   Actual:        
               Median         Range                  Sep01  Aug25  Aug18
 Weekly Claims   210k     208k to 213k                  --   213k   210k
     Comments: The level of initial jobless claims is expected to fall  
by 3,000 to 210,000 in the September 1 week after a modest increase of  
3,000 to 213,000 in the previous week. Any comparison to a year ago is  
tainted by the hurricanes that hit in early-September 2017. The         
four-week moving average would fall by 1000 in the coming week as the   
214,000 level in the August 4 week rolls out of the calculation,        
assuming the MNI forecast is correct and there are no revisions.        
Nonfarm Productivity for Second Quarter, revised (ann rate % change)    
 Thursday, September 6 at 8:30 a.m. ET                   Actual:        
                   Median           Range           2Q18r   2Q18p   1Q18
 Productivity       +3.0%      +2.9% to +3.1%          --   +2.9%  -0.3%
 Unit Labor Costs   -0.9%      -1.1% to -0.8%          --   -0.9%  +2.3%
     Comments: Nonfarm productivity is expected to be revised up very   
slightly to a 3.0% pace from the 2.9% gain in the preliminary estimate  
due to a small upward adjustment in output. Unit labor costs are        
expected to be revised unrevised from the 0.9% drop in the preliminary  
ISM Non-manufacturing Index for August                                  
 Thursday, September 6 at 10:00 a.m. ET                  Actual:        
               Median         Range                  Aug18  Jul18  Jun18
 ISM NMI         57.0     56.0 to 58.0                  --   55.7   59.1
     Comments: The ISM nonmanufacturing index is expected to rise to a  
reading of 57.0 in August from 55.7 in July. The Philadelphia           
nonmanufacturing index fell to 41.7, while the flash Markit Services    
index dipped to 55.2.                                                   
Factory Orders for July (percent change)                                
 Thursday, September 6 at 10:00 a.m. ET                  Actual:        
               Median         Range                  Jul18  Jun18  May18
 New Orders     -0.6%    -0.7% to -0.4%                 --  +0.7%  +0.4%
 Ex Transport    --        --  to --                    --  +0.4%  +0.8%
     Comments: Factory orders are expected to fall by 0.6% in July.     
Durable goods orders declined by 1.7% in the month on a sharp drop in   
transportation orders, while nondurables orders are expected to decline 
on softer energy prices. Durable orders excluding transportation were up
0.2%, so total factory orders excluding transportation are expected to  
rise slightly.                                                          
Nonfarm Payrolls for August (change in thousands)                       
 Friday, September 7 at 8:30 a.m. ET                     Actual:        
               Median         Range                 Aug18  Jul18  Jun18 
 Payrolls       +195k    +166k to +230k                --  +157k  +248k 
 Private Job    +190k    +163k to +215k                --  +170k  +234k 
 Jobless Rate    3.8%     3.8% to  3.9%                --   3.9%   4.0% 
 Hrly Earnings  +0.2%    +0.2% to +0.3%                --  +0.3%  +0.1% 
 Avg Wkly Hrs    34.5     34.5 to  34.5                --   34.5   34.6 
     Comments: Nonfarm payrolls are forecast to rise by 195,000 in      
August after a weaker-than-expected 157,000 rise in July. The           
unemployment rate is expected to fell further to 3.8% after dipping to  
3.9% in July. Hourly earnings are forecast to rise 0.2% after a 0.3%    
gain, while the average workweek is expected to hold steady at 34.5     
--MNI Washington Bureau; +1 202-372-2121; email:

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