The Week Ahead

      Tuesday, Sept. 12, 8:30 a.m. -- Producer prices of finished goods probably rose 
      by 0.2% in August, says the median forecast of economists surveyed by MMS 
      International, one of the McGraw-Hill Cos. If so, that would be the first 
      increase in prices since April. Producer prices were unchanged in July. 
      Excluding the volatile food and energy sectors, prices likely rose 0.2% in 
      August, the same as in July.
      Wednesday, Sept. 13, 8:30 a.m. -- Consumer prices for all items and prices, 
      excluding food and energy, likely increased 0.2% in August, says the MMS 
      survey. Both the total price index and the core rate rose by 0.2% in July. Weak 
      apparel prices and cuts in car prices because of dealer incentives probably 
      offset gains in prices of other goods and services. Consumer inflation remains 
      on track to rise about 3% in 1995, the same mild pace as in 1994.
      Thursday, Sept. 14, 8:30 a.m. -- Retail sales probably rose a modest 0.3% in 
      August, after falling 0.1% in July. Motor- vehicle purchases were strong, 
      thanks to rebates and other incentives, but many major retail chains reported 
      weak sales. That's partly because the warm weather deterred people from buying 
      cool-weather, back-to-school clothing. Excluding cars, retail sales probably 
      rose by 0.2% in August, on top of a 0.2% gain in July.
      Friday, Sept. 15, 9:15 a.m. -- Output at the nation's factories, mines, and 
      utilities probably rose 0.4% in August, forecasts the MMS report. That's 
      suggested by the small gain in factory jobs and the increase in the workweek, 
      including overtime. In July, industrial production rose 0.1% as the heat wave 
      pushed up utility use by 3.6%. Factory output fell 0.2% in July, led by a steep 
      decline in auto production. Operating rates for all industry likely inched up 
      to 83.6% last month, from 83.4% in July.

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