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The Week Ahead


BUSINESS INVENTORIES

Monday, May 14, 8:30 a.m. EDT -- Inventories probably fell 0.2% again in March, after falling 0.2% in February. That is the median forecast of economists surveyed by Standard & Poor's MMS, a unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies.

INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION

Monday, May 14, 9:15 a.m. EDT -- Factory output likely slipped 0.2% in April, after rising 0.4% in March. The average operating rate likely fell to 79%, from 79.4% in March.

FOMC MEETING

Tuesday, May 15, 9:00 a.m. EDT -- The Federal Reserve Board's Open Market Committee will meet to set monetary policy. Based on the S&P MMS survey, economists unanimously expect another one-half percentage point cut in the federal funds rate.

CONSUMER PRICE INDEX

Wednesday, May 16, 8:30 a.m. EDT -- Consumer prices for goods and services probably rose in April by 0.3%. Excluding food and energy, prices likely grew by just 0.2%.

HOUSING STARTS

Wednesday, May 16, 8:30 a.m. EDT -- Housing starts in April likely slipped to an annual rate of 1.6 million, from 1.61 million in March.

INTERNATIONAL TRADE

Friday, May 18, 8:30 a.m. EDT -- The March trade deficit in goods and services probably widened to $29 billion, from $27 billion in February.

FEDERAL BUDGET

Friday, May 18, 2:00 p.m. EDT -- The U.S. Treasury will likely report a $170.9 billion surplus in April.


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