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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