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The Week Ahead


FOMC MEETING

Tuesday, Dec. 11, 9 a.m. EST -- The Federal Reserve's Open Market Committee will meet to set monetary policy. Over two-thirds of the economists surveyed by Standard & Poor's MMS, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, forecast a quarter-point cut in the federal funds rate, to 1.75%. The remainder of economists surveyed forecast no change.

RETAIL SALES

Thursday, Dec. 13, 8:30 a.m. EST -- Retail sales probably fell 1.5% in November, due to a drop-off in auto sales after a record October. Excluding autos, sales were likely up 0.3%.

PRODUCER PRICE INDEX

Thursday, Dec. 13, 8:30 a.m. EST -- Producer prices of finished goods in October likely fell 0.2%. Core prices, excluding food and energy, are expected to have risen 0.1%.

BUSINESS INVENTORIES

Friday, Dec. 14, 8:30 a.m. EST -- Inventories in October are projected to have fallen 0.3%, after dropping 0.5% in September.

CONSUMER PRICE INDEX

Friday, Dec. 14, 8:30 a.m. EST -- Consumer prices for goods and services were likely unchanged in November, after slipping 0.3% in October. Core prices, excluding the more volatile food and energy components, probably increased 0.2%, after growing 0.2% in October.

INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION

Friday, Dec. 14, 9:15 a.m. EST -- Factory output likely fell for the 10th time this year, by 0.3% in November, after a 1.1% drop in October.


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