Business Week Index
THE WEEK AHEAD
Monday, July 8, 3 p.m.EDT -- Consumers probably took on an additional $8.7
billion in new credit in May. That's the median forecast of economists surveyed
by MMS International, ene of The McGraw-Hill Companies. The strong gain is
suggested by the increase inretail sales, especially for durable goods, which
are typically bought on credit. Debt increased by arelatively small $6.6
billion in April, but the slower borrowing pace may have been an offset to
therecord tax payments made by individuals in April. Some consumers are
starting to get squeezed by too much debt: First-quarter delinquencyrates on
credit cards jumped to the highest level in 15 years.
Thursday, July 11, 8:30 a.m.EDT -- New claims for state unemployment benefits
probably stood at a 325,000 pace for the week ending July 6. That's below the
350,000 average for filings over the past few weeks, but the latest survey
period will include Independence Day, when state offices are closed.
Friday, July 12, 8:30 a.m.EDT -- The MMS median forecast projects thatretail
sales increased by just 0.2% in June, following a strong 0.8% advance in May.
The slower pace is indicated by the weekly survey ofretailers and steady sales
of motor vehicles. Excluding cars, storereceipts likely increased by 0.3% in
June, the same gain posted in May.
PRODUCER PRICE INDEX
Friday, July 12, 8:30 a.m.EDT -- Producer prices of finished goods were
probably unchanged in June, after falling 0.1% in May. Lower energy prices will
likely lead the decline. Excluding food and energy costs, core producer prices
likely edged up 0.1% in June, after no change in May. Further back in the
production cycle, prices for intermediate supplies andraw materials probably
declined in June because of the collapse in copper prices following the scandal
at Sumitomo Corp.