The Week Ahead
RETAIL SALES Tuesday, Dec. 13, 8:30 a.m. Copyright Retail sales probably increased by a solid 0.5% in November, projects the median forecast of economists surveyed by MMS International, a division of McGraw-Hill Inc. Shopping seemed to have started off slowly last month but ended with a bang to usher in the holiday season. In October, sales jumped 1.1%. Excluding car purchases, retail sales probably increased 0.3% in November, after rising 0.6% in October. PRODUCER PRICE INDEX Tuesday, Dec. 13, 8:30 a.m. Copyright Producer prices of finished goods likely rose 0.4% in November, after a 0.5% decline in October. Energy and vehicle prices, which dropped in October, rebounded in November. Excluding food and energy, producer prices probably increased 0.3% last month, after also dropping 0.5% in October. CONSUMER PRICE INDEX Wednesday, Dec. 14, 8:30 a.m. Copyright The MMS median forecast calls for a 0.3% advance in November consumer prices, after a small 0.1% increase in October. INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION Wednesday, Dec. 14, 9:15 a.m. Copyright Output at the nation's factories, mines, and utilities probably grew by 0.5% last month, a shade less than the 0.6% gain in October. Increased factory jobs suggest manufacturing production was up strongly, but an unseasonably warm November in the East dragged down utility output. Operating rates for all industry likely rose to 84.8% in November, up from 84.6% in October. BUSINESS INVENTORIES Thursday, Dec. 15, 10 a.m. Copyright The MMS survey projects that factory, wholesale, and retail trade inventories rose 0.4% in October, after a 0.5% gain in September. HOUSING STARTS Friday, Dec. 16, 8:30 a.m. Copyright Housing starts in November were probably unchanged from October's annual rate of 1.41 million.
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