The Week Ahead

RETAIL SALES
      Tuesday, Feb. 27, 8:30 a.m.EST -- Retail sales probably fell 0.2% in January, 
      according to the median forecast of economists surveyed by MMS International, 
      one of The McGraw-Hill Companies. Sales edged up a small 0.3% in December, but 
      the blizzard kept many shoppers stuck at home for part of January. In 
      particular, vehicle purchases fell. Excluding cars, retail sales probably 
      increased 0.1% in January, after rising 0.2% in December.
      
      PRODUCER PRICE INDEX
      Tuesday, Feb. 27, 8:30 a.m.EST -- Producer prices of finished goods likely rose 
      0.4% in January, after rising 0.5% in December.
      
      CONSUMER CONFIDENCE
      Tuesday, Feb. 27, 10 a.m.EST -- The Conference Board's index of consumer 
      confidence likely rebounded to 89 in February, after dropping 12 points to 87 
      in January.
      
      CONSUMER PRICE INDEX
      Wednesday, Feb. 28, 8:30 a.m.EST -- Consumer prices increased 0.3% in January, 
      after edging up 0.2% in December, forecasts the MMS survey. Excluding food and 
      energy, prices likely rose 0.2% in January, on top of a 0.1% gain in December.
      
      INTERNATIONAL TRADE
      Wednesday, Feb. 28, 8:30 a.m.EST -- The trade deficit for goods and services 
      likely widened to $8.2 billion in December. The gap narrowed sharply to $7.1 
      billion in November, from $8.2 billion in October.
      
      BUSINESS INVENTORIES
      Wednesday, Feb. 28, 10 a.m.EST -- Inventories held by manufacturers, 
      wholesalers, and retailers probably grew 0.1% in December, says the MMS survey, 
      the same gain as in November.
      
      NAPM SURVEY
      Friday, Mar. 1, 10 a.m.EST -- The National Association of Purchasing 
      Management's industrial index likely stood at 45.5% in February, hardly better 
      than the recessionary 44.2% reading in January.
      

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