The Week Ahead
BUSINESS INVENTORIES Monday, July 15, 10 a.m.edt -- Inventories held by manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers likely edged up by 0.1% in May, says the median forecast of economists surveyed by MMS International, one of The McGraw-Hill Companies. Business inventories may have declined, however, because factories and wholesalers have already reported declines in their May stock levels. Total inventories rose 0.4% in April. CONSUMER PRICE INDEX Tuesday, July 16, 8:30 a.m.edt -- Consumer prices probably rose 0.2% in June, after May's 0.3% gain. Higher tobacco prices contributed to the increase. Excluding food and energy, prices likely rose 0.2% in June, the same small increase as in May. INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION Tuesday, July 16, 9:15 a.m.edt -- Industrial output probably increased 0.4% in June, on top of a 0.7% jump in May, says the MMS survey. That's suggested by the increase in the factory workweek. The average operating rate for all industry likely rose to 83.3% in June from 83.2%. HOUSING STARTS Wednesday, July 17, 8:30 a.m.edt -- Housing starts in June probably stood at an annual rate of 1.45 million, up from a 1.43 million pace in May. Housing demand remains strong despite the one-percentage-point rise in fixed mortgage rates. INTERNATIONAL TRADE Thursday, July 18, 8:30 a.m.edt -- The foreign trade deficit of goods and services likely narrowed to $8.1 billion in May, from $8.6 billion in April. After rising 1% in April, exports were probably flat, while imports, up 1.7%, likely fell slightly in May. HUMPHREY-HAWKINS TESTIMONY Thursday, July 18 -- Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan will testify on future monetary policy and the current state of the economy before the Senate Banking Committee.
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