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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