The Week Ahead
RETAIL SALES Tuesday, Nov. 14, 8:30 a.m. -- Retail sales rose a mere 0.1% in October, projects the median forecast of economists surveyed by MMS International, one of The McGraw-Hill Companies. Sales rose 0.3% in September. Excluding autos, October receipts likely also rose 0.1%, after a 0.7% jump in September. FOMC MEETING Wednesday, Nov. 15 -- The MMS forecast is for no change in monetary policy during this meeting of the Federal Reserve Board's Federal Open Market Committee. That means that the federal funds rate will remain at 5.75%. CONSUMER PRICE INDEX Wednesday, Nov. 15, 8:30 a.m. -- Inflation continues at a mild pace. Consumer prices probably rose 0.2% in October, after edging up 0.1% in September. Excluding food and energy, core prices likely rose 0.2% last month, the same increase as in each of the previous five months. INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION Wednesday, Nov. 15, 9:15 a.m. -- The MMS forecast is that industrial production fell 0.2% in October, on top of a 0.2% drop in September. That's suggested by the decline in total hours worked in the factory sector. As a result, operating rates for all industry slipped to 83.5% in October, from 83.8%. BUSINESS INVENTORIES Wednesday, Nov. 15, 10 a.m. -- Inventories held by manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers probably rose 0.4% in September, the same gain as in August. Factory inventories rose 0.6% in September, while wholesale stock levels were down 0.2%. Business sales likely rose 0.4% in September, much less than the 1.5% jump in August. That's suggested by the weak sales reported by retailers and manufacturers. HOUSING STARTS Friday, Nov. 17, 8:30 a.m. -- Housing starts probably stood at an annual rate of 1.4 million in October, unchanged from September's pace, says the MMS report.
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