Business Week Index
THE WEEK AHEAD
Tuesday, May 7, 3 p.m.EDT -- Consumers probably added about $7 billion in new
credit in March, significantly less than the big increases of the last few
months. In February, for instance, installment debt jumped by $12 billion.
Sluggish retail sales suggest that credit-card use slowed in March, although
auto financing probably continued to grow at a healthy clip. The already
record-high level of existing debt is causing worries that consumers may start
to cut back on their spending. However, income growth remains solid enough to
carry rising debt burdens.
Wednesday, May 8, 12 p.m.EDT -- The Federal Reserve will take a look at the
regional economies of its 12 districts in preparation for the monetary policy
meeting scheduled for May 21. The Beige Book is a compilation of anecdotal
reporting on economic activity, labor conditions, and wage and price pressures.
Thursday, May 9. 8:30 a.m.EDT -- New filings for state unemployment insurance
benefits likely stood at about 330,000 in the week ended May 4. Jobless claims
have been running about 350,000 in recent weeks, a high level in a tight labor
PRODUCER PRICE INDEX
Friday, May 10, 8:30 a.m.EDT -- Producer prices of finished goods probably rose
by 0.4% in April, says the median forecast of economists surveyed by MMS
International, one of The McGraw-Hill Companies Inc. Higher gasoline prices
will lead the runup, as they did in March when the total PPI increased by a
large 0.5%. Excluding food and energy costs, producer prices likely rose just
0.1% in April, the same small gain posted in both February and March.