The Week Ahead
RETAIL SALES Tuesday, May 14, 8:30 a.m.EDT -- Retail sales rose a small 0.2% in April, says the median forecast of economists polled by MMS International, one of The McGraw-Hill Companies. Weak car buying offset gains elsewhere. Sales rose only 0.1% in March. CONSUMER PRICE INDEX Tuesday, May 14, 8:30 a.m.EDT -- Consumer prices likely jumped 0.4% in April, led by a surge in gasoline prices. Excluding food and energy, core prices probably rose just 0.2%. In March, the total CPI increased 0.4%, while the core was up 0.3%. INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION Wednesday, May 15, 9:15 a.m.EDT -- Output rose 0.4% in April, after the strike at General Motors Corp. contributed to a 0.5% drop in March. The operating rate likely rose to 82.7% in April, from 82.5% in March. BUSINESS INVENTORIES Wednesday, May 15, 10 a.m.EDT -- Inventories at factories, wholesalers, and retailers were likely unchanged in March. HOUSING STARTS Thursday, May 16, 8:30 a.m.EDT -- Housing starts probably fell to an annual rate of 1.43 million in April. Starts fell 3.9% in March, to a 1.45 million pace. PRODUCTIVITY AND COSTS Thursday, May 16, 10 a.m.EDT -- Output per hour worked probably jumped at an annual rate of 3% in the first quarter, after falling 0.8% in the fourth. Unit labor costs were likely flat last quarter. INTERNATIONAL TRADE Friday, May 17, 8:30 a.m.EDT -- The foreign trade deficit for goods and services probably widened slightly, to $8.3 billion in March from $8.2 billion in February.
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