INSTALLMENT CREDIT 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. UNEMPLOYMENT CLAIMS 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. RETAIL SALES 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.
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