Business Week Index: The Week Ahead

PRODUCER PRICE INDEX
      Tuesday, Apr. 11, 8:30 a.m. -- Producer prices of finished goods likely 
      increased by 0.3% in March, the same modest gain posted in January and 
      February. That's the median forecast of economists surveyed by MMS 
      International, a division of McGraw-Hill Inc. Excluding food and energy, prices 
      probably rose 0.3% as well last month, the same increase as in February.
      
      CONSUMER PRICE INDEX
      Wednesday, Apr. 12, 8:30 a.m. -- Just like producer prices, consumer prices in 
      March probably increased by 0.3%, for both the entire index and the core rate 
      that excludes food and energy. Total CPI and the core index each rose 0.3% in 
      February. The expected advance would mean that prices in March were up a mild 
      3% from a year ago. Inflation remains very acquiescent, even as the U.S. 
      economy starts its fifth year of expansion.
      
      RETAIL SALES
      Thursday, Apr. 13, 8:30 a.m. -- Retail sales probably rose 0.5% in March, says 
      the MMS report. That's indicated by the weekly surveys of sales at department 
      and chain stores. Retailers have been struggling in early 1995. February sales 
      fell 0.4%, but some of that weakness reflects a delay in income-tax refunds, as 
      the government searches for tax fraud.
      
      INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION
      Friday, Apr. 14, 9:15 a.m. -- Output at the nation's factories, mines, and 
      utilities probably rose just 0.2% in March. That's suggested by the weak report 
      on production by the National Association of Purchasing Management. Output grew 
      0.5% in February. Operating rates in March likely rose to 85.8%, from 85.7%.
      
      BUSINESS INVENTORIES
      Friday, Apr. 14, 10 a.m. -- Inventories held by manufacturers, wholesalers, and 
      retailers probably grew by 0.6% in February, after a 0.9% jump in January. 
      Business sales likely rose just 0.2% in February, after rising 0.1% in January.
      
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