The Week Ahead

      Tuesday, Dec. 12, 8:30 a.m. -- Producer prices of finished goods likely rose 
      0.2% in November, after slipping 0.1% in October. That's the median forecast of 
      economists surveyed by MMS International, one of The McGraw-Hill Companies. 
      Excluding food and energy, core producer prices in November probably rose 0.2%, 
      after showing no change in October.
      Wednesday, Dec. 13, 8:30 a.m. -- Retail sales probably rose 0.4% in November, 
      helped in part by healthy sales of motor vehicles and early holiday shopping. 
      Retail sales fell 0.2% in October, but the volatile retail data are often 
      revised in subsequent reports. Excluding cars, retail buying probably rose 
      0.4%, after falling 0.5% in October.
      Thursday, Dec. 14, 8:30 a.m. -- The MMS median forecast projects that consumer 
      prices climbed by 0.2% in November, following a modest 0.3% gain in October. 
      Excluding food and energy prices, the core CPI probably also rose 0.2% last 
      month, from an increase of 0.3% in October.
      Thursday, Dec. 14, 9:15 a.m. -- Output at factories, mines, and utilities was 
      likely unchanged in November, after falling 0.4% in October. That's suggested 
      by the decline in output already reported by the National Association of 
      Purchasing Management. Capacity use likely was unchanged from October's level 
      of 83.2%.
      Thursday, Dec. 14, 10 a.m. -- Inventories held by manufacturers, wholesalers, 
      and retailers probably rose 0.3% in October, the same increase posted in 
      September. The expected rise would be a sign that the inventory correction is 
      taking longer than initially expected. Business sales were probably little 
      changed in October, after rising 0.4%. That's suggested by weak retail sales 
      for the month.
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