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Tuesday, Sept. 15, 8:30 a.m.EDT -- Retail sales probably increased 0.4% in August, says the median forecast of economists surveyed by Standard & Poor's MMS, a unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies. Excluding vehicle purchases, store sales likely rose 0.3%. In July, a steep decline in car sales led to a 0.4% drop in overall retail buying. Excluding cars, sales rose 0.5%.BUSINESS INVENTORIES

Wednesday, Sept. 16, 8:30 a.m.EDT -- Inventories held by manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers probably increased a small 0.2% in July, after a 0.1% gain in June, says the S&P MMS report.INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION

Wednesday, Sept. 16, 9:15 a.m.EDT -- Industrial output probably rebounded strongly in August, rising 0.7%. The General Motors Corp. strike caused output to drop 0.6% in July. The average operating rate likely rose to 81.1% last month, from 80.5% in July.BEIGE BOOK

Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2 p.m.EDT -- The Federal Reserve's roundup of regional business activity will be released in advance of the Fed's policy meeting on Sept. 29.CONSUMER PRICE INDEX

Thursday, Sept. 17, 8:30 a.m.EDT -- Total consumer prices likely rose 0.1% in August, after increasing 0.2% in July, says the S&P MMS survey. Excluding food and energy, core prices likely also rose 0.2% in August, on top of a 0.2% advance in July.INTERNATIONAL TRADE

Thursday, Sept. 17, 8:30 a.m.EDT -- The trade deficit probably widened again, to $15 billion in July, after narrowing to $14.2 billion in June. Exports were likely unchanged, while imports rose.HOUSING STARTS

Friday, Sept. 18, 8:30 a.m.EDT -- Housing starts likely dropped to an annual rate of 1.65 million in August, after jumping 5.7% in July, to a 1.72 million pace.

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