The Week Ahead
PRODUCER PRICE INDEX 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. CONSUMER PRICE INDEX 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. RETAIL SALES 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. INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION 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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