The Week Ahead

      Monday, July 8, 3 p.m.EDT -- Consumers probably took on an additional $8.7 
      billion in new credit in May. That's the median forecast of economists surveyed 
      by MMS International, ene of The McGraw-Hill Companies. The strong gain is 
      suggested by the increase inretail sales, especially for durable goods, which 
      are typically bought on credit. Debt increased by arelatively small $6.6 
      billion in April, but the slower borrowing pace may have been an offset to 
      therecord tax payments made by individuals in April. Some consumers are 
      starting to get squeezed by too much debt: First-quarter delinquencyrates on 
      credit cards jumped to the highest level in 15 years.
      Thursday, July 11, 8:30 a.m.EDT -- New claims for state unemployment benefits 
      probably stood at a 325,000 pace for the week ending July 6. That's below the 
      350,000 average for filings over the past few weeks, but the latest survey 
      period will include Independence Day, when state offices are closed.
      Friday, July 12, 8:30 a.m.EDT -- The MMS median forecast projects thatretail 
      sales increased by just 0.2% in June, following a strong 0.8% advance in May. 
      The slower pace is indicated by the weekly survey ofretailers and steady sales 
      of motor vehicles. Excluding cars, storereceipts likely increased by 0.3% in 
      June, the same gain posted in May.
      Friday, July 12, 8:30 a.m.EDT -- Producer prices of finished goods were 
      probably unchanged in June, after falling 0.1% in May. Lower energy prices will 
      likely lead the decline. Excluding food and energy costs, core producer prices 
      likely edged up 0.1% in June, after no change in May. Further back in the 
      production cycle, prices for intermediate supplies andraw materials probably 
      declined in June because of the collapse in copper prices following the scandal 
      at Sumitomo Corp.

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