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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