INSTALLMENT CREDIT Monday, Aug. 7 -- Consumers probably added about $10.5 billion in new debt in June, says the median forecast of economists surveyed by MMS International, one of the McGraw-Hill Cos. That's suggested by the 0.7% jump in June retail sales. Consumer borrowing has skyrocketed in 1995. In May alone, installment credit surged $11.5 billion. PRODUCTIVITY & COSTS Tuesday, Aug. 8, 10 a.m. -- Productivity in the nonfarm sector likely grew at an annual rate of about 1.5% in the second quarter. Although the increase in output was small, hours worked in the nonfarm sector fell by more than 1%, at an annual rate. Once again, the biggest productivity boost probably came in the manufacturing sector, where output per hour jumped at a 3.2% pace in the first quarter. Nonfarm unit labor costs likely grew by less than 1% last quarter, after advancing by a small 1.4% in the first. Factory unit labor costs may have fallen, after rising 1.1%. PRODUCER PRICE INDEX Thursday, Aug. 10, 8:30 a.m. -- The MMS survey forecasts that producer prices of finished goods were unchanged in July, after slipping 0.1% in June. Excluding food and energy, the PPI probably rose 0.2% in July, the same gain posted in June. CONSUMER PRICE INDEX Friday, Aug. 11, 8:30 a.m. -- Consumer prices likely edged up 0.2% in July, after a puny 0.1% gain in June. Excluding food and energy, prices probably also rose 0.2% in July, the same as in June. A new flurry of auto incentives offset price gains elsewhere. Yearly inflation remains at about 3%. RETAIL SALES Friday, Aug. 11, 8:30 a.m. -- Retail sales probably rose 0.5% in July after increasing 0.7% in June, says the MMS report. That's suggested by the weekly survey of retailers. The heat wave across the Midwest and East caused a swell of demand for hot-weather-related items, such as air conditioners.
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